A West Coast flower tour need not cost much and can be done in a single day from Cape Town. TGI went on a recce trip to see what could be done. Tip: Remember to always check the weather as a sunny day is very important as most of the flowers only open when the sun is shining.
We left Cape Town at 09:00 on a sunny morning and travelled up the N7 out of the city. Our first stop was at the West Coast 1 Stop for a toilet stop, takeaway coffee and bacon and egg toastie from the Wimpy. We then took the R304 turnoff towards Darling. Just before Darling on the right-hand side of the road, is a Wildlife Flower Reserve and then once through the quaint town of Darling, there is the Tinie Versfeld Wild Flower Reserve. This was our first stop and real taste of the Spring wildflowers. Both these reserves have no entrance fee.
We then continued our journey on the R307 and R315 stopping along the way to photograph the wildflowers and ostriches along the sides of the road and in the fields to the left and right of us. Most flowers here were white, orange and yellow varieties.
At the R27, we turned right to travel northwards. Just past Buffelsfontein Game Reserve, the queue, a few kilometre-long, started for the entrance into the West Coast National Park and Postberg. Postberg is inside the park and privately owned. It is only open to the public for 2 months of the year. We continued towards Langebaan passing the many cars in the queue and passing a huge herd of Eland inside the park.
Passing the Langebaan turnoff, we soon turned next left onto the TR8501 with the old Saldanha Steel Refinery in the distance. It was a strange sight, seeing pretty, dainty, little flowers with the rusty looking industrial building behind. We continued on this road towards the coast and into Jacobs Bay. Along the way were fields of white and yellow flowers.
Jacobs Bay is a pretty seaside village with white houses and colourful roofs. The shoreline is mainly rocky, but there is a small beach to walk along or to launch a small boat.
There is only one tarred road in the village, as the rest are gravel roads. We continued on the tarred road south until it became a gravel road and that is when we experienced the burst of colours between the normal, harsh coastal shrubs.
One has to get out the car, bend low to be able to fully experience the beauty of these annual wildflowers. White, pink, red, peach, yellow, mauve and ranges of those colours met our eyes.
All you want to do is capture a photo of what your eye can see only to realise that you can’t. The photos from a camera do not do justice to the beauty that nature produces and displays.
So, after time spent with the carpet of nature’s flowers, it was time for our late lunch. We headed back to Langebaan to Pearly’s for fresh fish and chips. The cost for this trip was petrol, breakfast and lunch. We arrived back in the city at about 17:00.