No need to travel all the way to Namakwaland to see the Spring flowers. The West Coast National Park is about an hour from the centre of Cape Town. With Sea Views!
Today however, it was the Spring flowers we came to see. As it turns out, did most of the Western Cape. Sunday afternoon picnic venue, by the beach nogal. A big negative were the prices at the gate – R60 per person for South Africans, and R128 per person for foreigners – what the hell! As if our tourism needs to discriminate right now! None the less, in single file we inched along the scrubland; inched being the operative word. Mama vocal about the disappointing show of flowers. Wait, I pleaded, and enjoy the ride.
The colour of the water is blinding. Because of the pristine, white sand, hues of turquoise and aqua is startling, sparkling. One can walk for miles along the beach and lagoon. Gorgeous names like Plankiesbaai and Preekstoel to roll around the tongue – eg, as the Dutch would say and I kept thinking what those early sailors must have though when approaching the Cape. Mama is still looking for the flowers and sure enough a few appear along the side of the road. No chance of seeing many the advertised game in the middle of the day, but as caution would have it, tortoises do have a knack for crossing the road and it is such fun watching those big assed Pradas and Range Rovers come to a grinding halt for slow coach to cross. Repeating nature in action. Many enthusiasts stopped at the first sight of a petal, spending a good ten minutes clicking a single bloom.
As the trail progressed, the first field of orange emerged. Orange mixed with yellow, with purple, with blue. The Postberg section of the Game Reserve is the floral destination. No higher than my ankle, swathes of colour clouded the Wildebeest and Eland in the distance. Along with my fellow admirers, we parked on the side of the road and ventured forth to get the best photo opportunity, and did I miss my Canon at this point. Ah well, the little iPhone will have to do. It took nearly a full hour to drive around the flowers.
When you visit South Africa, you much make this a favourite in your itinerary. At any time of the year, for the beaches, marine life, game and indigenous fauna will take your breath away. Still annoyed with the price issue, I hope it does not impact negatively on my foreign friends and clients, for this is a spectacular Reserve. And if a picnic is uppermost, make sure you take all your supplies – not too many shops and restaurants here, but I think it is intended this way. Rather pack the sarmies, roll up the trousers and discover nature as she should be seen.