The Cederberg mountains are named after the endangered Clanwilliam Cedar tree endemic to this area. The dramatic rock formations and San rock art are stunning, the art giving us images of the distant past. Namaqualand is a desert region and each year in early spring we witness a spectacular natural phenomenon, a transformation of this evocative semi-arid landscape into a wonderland of carpets of diverse multi colored wildflowers. The magic only lasts a few weeks! This private tour is a rare gem.
This morning we leave the Cape and travel northwards along the Atlantic coast passing dunes and lagoons to Langebaan where we visit the West Coast National Park, well known for its avian life, identified by BirdLife International, and spring flowers, particularly in the Postberg Reserve.
A flamingo population live in the salt marshes, African Penguins, Oyster catchers and Cape Gannets breed here.
Next stop is the famous Fossil Park West Coast National Park, known to fossil enthusiasts worldwide. The fossils include bones of over 200 different animal species and this represents the greatest diversity of five million year-old fossils found anywhere in the world.
We drive to Eland’s Bay, this beautiful village and rugged west coast environment is amongst other things famous for it’s surf break. A walk to Baboon Point and Cave which is decorated with rock art and, particularly the Eland giving the bay its name.
Accommodation on or near the beach. Fresh Crayfish for dinner perhaps!
After leaving Eland’s Bay we stop at Lambert’s Bay, the seafood hot spot of the West Coast!
Lambert’s Bay is known as the Diamond of the West Coast, and the crayfish mecca of South Africa. Alluvial diamonds are also brought up from the ocean floor, thanks to those crazy, leathery local divers.
Delightful views of dolphins, whales and the ever entertaining seals at the internationally acclaimed Bird Island where tens of thousands of seabirds create a deafening cacophony, not forgetting the lush stretches of wild field flowers that are most beautiful during spring.
In the afternoon we travel Van Ryns Pass which is mesmerizing with its steep gradient and double backs affording the chance to ‘see where you’ve been’. The view is breathtaking!
We reach Nieuwoudtville, the bulb capital of the world. This town lies in the Bokkeveld escarpment.
Farm stay and dinner.
Today we discover amazing landscapes, canyons, the beautiful Nieuwoudtville waterfall, quiver tree forests, glacial pavements, local sandstone ruins and visit an authentic Nama village and the Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve.
Finally, the day will end with a visit to a cooperative “Rooibos” farm where the famous South African tea is grown.
This unique health-enhancing Rooibos plant is only found in this area.
Barbecue dinner under African sky, spot the Southern Cross anyone..
After breakfast we leave Nieuwoudtville via lesser known mountain passes that lead to Clanwilliam in the Olifants River valley.
We enjoy walking the streets of this historic town and admire the Dutch Reform Church which has been a scheduled National Monument since 1973
This region has the most amazing rock formations. We walk to the caves to admire some of the most outstanding rock art sites in existence and gain insight into the deep and rich spiritual culture of the Bushman who lived for millennia here in the Cederberg Mountains.
After breakfast we hike in the Cederberg mountains. We visit the Stadtsaal caves, a series of ancient inter-leading caves in the Cederberg Wilderness that hold excellent examples of Xam (more often called San) rock art, in particular paintings of elephant.
The Xam lived in the Cederberg for over 500 000 years, but stopped painting about 200 years ago, disrupted by European colonialists.
The caves are called Stadtsaal (Afrikaans for city hall) possibly for the impressively spacious domed cave, into which lead several small passageways and ‘foyers’ that easily remind one of a city hall. The heady fragrance of indigenous fynbos is intoxicating.
Picnic snack here in this beautiful wilderness area.
At the end of the day our last stop will be at Bloubergstrand where we enjoy views of the city of Cape Town backed by its famous Table Mountain. Robben Island is close and visible from here.
Finally after our farewells you are dropped of your hotel or the airport.