Once a year keen and intrepid nature lovers flock to the Northern Cape and Namibia to view the beauty of the flower blanket that covers the Namaqualand. As beautiful as the Namaqua region is, it can be a bit too far for a quick weekend getaway. Luckily, Namaqualand isn’t the only place to view this springtime splendour, nor is looking at flowers the only activity. Dust off your hiking boots and join TravelGround as we explore springtime with these 5 hiking trails on the West Coast!

 

Postberg Wild Flower Trail

The Postberg Wild Flower Trail is located in the West Coast National Park with the Langebaan Lagoon as its focal point. This hiking trail is only open once a year for two months between August and September, which makes it an ideal spot to view flowers. Eland, blue wildebeest, gemsbok and many other animals can also be seen.

This two-legged trail starts at Tsaargate and takes you 15.5 km to the overnight spot at Plankiesbaai. Remember to bring your own camping equipment. Braai facilities and wood will be available at the overnight spot, as well as ablution facilities, basins and drinking water.

Day 2 is a 11.8 km hike which will take you about 3,5 hours ─ just in time for lunch! Please note that no vehicles are allowed to pick up or drop off people or equipment at Plankiesbaai.

Distance: 25 km
Duration: 2 days
Where: West Coast National Park
Contact: 022 772-2144/5 | Visit the South African National Parks website for more information. Booking is essential.
Price on request

Accommodation

Sailor’s Cabin | Beach Tower House Crystal Lagoon Lodge  | Terrace 563 @ Club Mykonos

 

Darling Stagger

For those who would like to experience more than just the flora Darling has to offer, the Darling Stagger provides a scenic trail with good food and wine along the way. This 25 km hiking trail was once walked by the short-necked giraffe and the San. It takes 2.5 days to complete and is divided into three legs:

Starting off with a light 7 km from the !Khwa Ttu San Cultural Centre on the R27 just outside of Darling, all along the coastline to Yzerfontein. The second leg is 13 km across farmland from !Khwa Ttu to the lush vineyards of Darling Hills, eventually making your way to Darling. The last stretch takes you 5 km through Darling followed by lunch at the historic Groote Post Farm.

If you’re not ready to call it a day, you can soak up the culture of Darling with an evening at Evita se Peron or a lovely dinner at Brig’s Barn.

Distance: 25 km
Duration: 2.5 days
Where: Darling
Contact: 076 696-5354 | trails@capebiosphere.co.za | Website
Booking is essential
Price on request

Accommodation

Disa Lodge | The Granary Petite Hotel | Vineyard Cottage | Maison de L’amour

 

Eve’s Trail

The theme of this Green Flag accredited trail is to walk in the footsteps of Eve to escape our busy lives that are governed by deadlines and technology, and rather be governed by the sun, moon and tides. Eve’s Trail is a 2.5 day, 33 km wilderness hike in the West Coast National Park. During these 2.5 days, accommodation is provided in the national park.

This three-legged trail starts off at Duinepos and makes its way to the Fossil Dunes. At the end of day 1 you’ll be taken to Kraalbaai where Eve’s footprints were found ─ thought to be the footprints of a woman dated to approximately 117,000 years ago ─ and enjoy a true West Coast dinner. Day 2 will take you 16 km from Geelbek via Abrahamskraal to the salt marsh next to the lagoon. The hike ends at Seeberg Cottage and guarantees spectacular views.

Distance: 33 km
Duration: 2.5 days
Where: West Coast National Park
Contact: 076 696-5354 | trails@capebiosphere.co.za | Website
Booking is essential
Price on request

Accommodation

Duinepos Chalets | The Farmhouse Hotel | Catalina Cottage | Madriko 35

 

Five Bay Trail

This scenic 2.5 day, 28 km trail is a beach-filled hike boasting the West Coast’s natural splendour between the charming fishing villages of Paternoster and Jacobs Bay. This three-legged hike starts with a lovely afternoon stroll along the Paternoster beaches as far as the Tweede Mosselbank, which then ends off with dinner at a local restaurant. Day 2 takes you through Paternoster along the beach to Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and Tietiesbaai. This trail follows the rocky shoreline where you can swim in the tidal pools and, of course, take in the beauty of the colourful wild flowers that are still flourishing until November. Making your way around Noordwesbaai, day 2 finds its end at Trekoskraal.

Day 3 starts at Trekoskraal and makes its way around the headland to the dunes of Wesbaai. The final day finds its way to Hospitaalbaai, where in the middle to late 1800s ships stopped to drop off the sick who were quarantined before they reached Cape Town. Jacobs Bay is where the trail ends and where you can enjoy lunch.

Distance: 28 km
Duration: 2.5 days
Where: Paternoster to Jacobsbaai
Contact: 076 696-5354 | trails@capebiosphere.co.za | Website
Booking is essential
Price on request

Accommodation

Sea Castle 2 | Abalone House and Spa | Mermaid Castle | OppiC

 

Bakoor Trail

Photo: SAN Parks

The Bakoor Trail is ideal for beginners and hikers with children. It’s a short 4.6 km hike and starts near the entrance of the West Coast National Park on the Langebaan side of the lagoon. This friendly hike takes about 3 hours to complete and can be done at your own leisure. It would be a good idea to pack a picnic basket and stop to enjoy the spectacular views, especially from Seeberg overlooking the lagoon. Other than the breathtaking blanket of flowers, be on the lookout for red hartebeest, eland, ostriches, tortoises and, of course, the bat-eared fox.

Distance: 4.6 km
Where: West Coast National Park
Duration: Approx. 3 hours
Contact: 022 772-2144/5 | Visit the South African National Parks website for more information. Booking is essential.
Price on request

Accommodation

Three Feathers Cottages | Kleine Aussicht | At The Rocks | Inni Hoek

 

Top Tips:

  • Bring a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses;
  • Stay hydrated;
  • Wear the right shoes and socks;
  • Keep it light;
  • Stay on the marked route;
  • Have First-aid supplies at the ready;
  • Pack snacks for extra energy;
  • Don’t forget headlamps or flashlights.

 

And remember, don’t leave a trace. Our country’s natural heritage will only stay beautiful if we care for it. Don’t forget your camera!

Do any of these trails tickle your fancy? What are you waiting for? Spring into action!

Feature image: SAN Parks