Flowers are in full bloom in the Cape Floral Kingdom, and what better way to get a glimpse of them than a long day hike, or even a two-day trek? All of this is on offer in the West Coast National Park this season.
Geelbek Short Day Walks
Starting at the Geelbek information centre, two shorter trails will still allow you to fully enjoy the flower. These hikes are kid-friendly too, making it an outdoor activity for the whole family.
- 9km: Beginning at the Geelbek Information Centre, to the dunes and back.
- 7km: Also beginning at the Geelbek Information Centre, the well sign-posted 7km includes part of the Sixteen Mile Beach, South Africa’s longest stretch of beach and is a circular walk.
Strandveld Trail Two-Day Hike
Starting and ending at the Geelbek office of the park, the trail is a self-guided route. The first day takes you through 14km of Strandveld which is unique to the West Coast of South Africa.
This route will allow you to put your botany skills to the test, with unique and endemic plant species. The first day’s hike will take about five hours, excluding breaks.
The second day is also 14km and will once again take you through Strandveld before reaching Sixteen Mile Beach. This is South Africa’s longest, unbroken stretch of beach and lucky hikers might be able to spot humpback whales from the beach before heading back to Geelbek.
Postberg Two-Day Hiking Trails (Only during August and September)
Situated in the Postberg section of the West Coast National Park which is only open during the spring months of August and September. Not only does this hike give you the splendour of the Cape floral kingdom, but it also offers hiker mountain and sea views and then the opportunity to stargaze afterwards.
Hikers start and finish at Tsaarsbank and overnight at Plankiesbaai. There is no slackpacking option, so hikers have to have their own tents, erected close to the ablutions at Plankiesbaai and not on any of the dunes.
Braai facilities and wood is provided at the overnight stop. The first day’s hike is 15.5 km, taking you across beaches with views of the Langebaan lagoon as well as the greatest flower show on earth.
Hopefully, you’ll get sightings of bontebok, tortoises, ostriches and the wide array of animal species in the park. There is no water point until you get to your overnight stop at Plankiesbaai, so be sure to pack enough!
Note that the Postberg hike needs to be booked well in advance, allowing no more than 12 hikers per day.
Getting there: drive 120km North of Cape Town on the R27. The entrance to the Park is on the left after Yzerfontein but before Langebaan.
Entry Fee: R100 daily conservation fee for South African Adults, R50 per child
Pricing for Overnight trials: Contact the Geelbek information centre for tariffs on 022 707 9902/3 or visit their website here.