With winter rains triggering spring blooms, now’s the time to plan your flower trip. Stay among the blooms at these tranquil and secluded locations.

When rains begin falling at the start of winter in the Cape, it’s a sign to look forward to spring’s wildflower spectacle. From August to October, but sometimes as early as July, the arid west of South Africa is transformed by carpets of spring flowers. It’s a reminder of nature’s awesome power and just the sight to restore work-weary spirits.

Elandsberg Rest Camp, Tankwa Karoo National Park

Tankwa Karoo National Park is one of the smaller treasures where peace and quiet come standard. Connecting the Western and Northern Cape, the park really comes to life when shrubs and bulbs flower in spring.

The Elandsberg cottages were built from stone and clay-and-straw bricks locally made and complement Tankwa’s surrounds perfectly. Both the one-, and two-bedroom cottages consist of an open-plan kitchen, living room with fireplace and bathroom. The kitchen has a gas stove and solar-powered fridge, and paraffin lamps and candles are provided.

Keen twitchers will enjoy the rich birdlife and the more advanced 4×4 enthusiasts can explore the Leeuberg 4×4 Eco-trail and the Watervlei 4×4 Route.

Good to know: The cottages are situated 18km from park reception at Roodewerf.
Rates: R1,650 for 4 people during August and September 2019.
Contact: SANParks Central Reservation office at +27 (0)12 428 9111 or book online at www.sanparks.org.

Picture courtesy of SANParks.

Skilpad Rest Camp, Namaqua National Park

This dry north-western part of our country is famous for its exquisite display of a colourful flower garden in spring. Why not plan a trip to visit Namaqua National Park and spend your days getting lost in the bold colours of the park’s beautiful bouquet?

Skilpad Rest Camp has just four chalets so you are guaranteed silence and seclusion. Each chalet consists of one bedroom with two single beds, an open-plan living room with a ¾ -sleeper couch and a ceiling fan. The fireplace in the living area is ideal to make a fire in order to ward off the evening’s chill and means you don’t have to forego the pleasure of a braai. Relax on the wide porch that comes with low-slung lounging chairs – an ideal place to admire the undulating landscape extending towards the coast.

Explore the vast vistas, Succulent Karoo biome and rolling hills during a full-day 4×4 eco-route. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the world’s smallest tortoise, the Namaqua speckled padloper.

Rates: During August and September 2019 the base rate for 2 people is from R1,186 per night and R263 for an additional person per night (maximum 3).
Contact: SANParks Central Reservation office at +27 (0)12 428 9111 or book online at www.sanparks.org.

Picture courtesy of SANParks

Sas se werf, Cederberg Wilderness Area

The beautiful Cederberg Wilderness Area forms part of the Cape floral region and is known for its mountain fynbos. Although the vegetation in this World Heritage Site is sparser than the fields of fynbos to the west, spring still brings bright displays of vygies and daisies.

Overnight at the charmingly named Sas se werf, one of the three Bosherberge cottages, and get lost in the harmony and solitude of this setting on the banks of the Rondegat River. This cosy cottage consists of two bedrooms comfortably sleeping four people, a bathroom, living room with a sleeper couch and a kitchen equipped with a gas stove, gas fridge, cutlery and crockery. The fireplace in the living room ensures a cosy vibe and will keep you toasty during the cooler spring evenings.

Travel through the wild beauty of the Cederberg on a donkey cart or walk one of the many walking trails to fascinating rock formations. Looking for something more adventurous? The Cederberg is home to Rocklands, a popular bouldering spot and Algeria has two new MTB trails.

Good to know: The cottage is located about 5km from the Algeria office, near Uitkyk Pass. To book a donkey cart ride, contact Dalene van der Westhuizen, Heuningvlei, on 027 492 3070.
Rates: R640 a night during off-peak season, R1,420 a night during peak season. R195 for an additional person per night (maximum 6)
Contact: CapeNature at +27 (0)21 483 0190 or book online.

Picture courtesy of CapeNature

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