2016 FLOWER TOUR SPRING: Cape Town to Niewoudtsville
Contributor: Roger Voysey.
Photographs: Roger Voysey.
On Saturday 20th August we left Cape Town, after a quick visit to Kirstenbosch, on the first leg of our exciting tour. This time our Kirstenbosch visit was to view the amazing Boomslang elevated walkway and it was well worth the deviation. What struck us most was that the walkway, 30 meters above ground level, had been designed and constructed without cutting away any branches or trees!
Clanwilliam was our first destination and midway between Citrusdal and Clan William we began to see flowers lining the N7. Our first port of call was a visit to Rooibos Ltd for an interesting video presentation on Rooibos farming, production and distribution. Up the road is Ramskop Wild Flower Garden overlooking the Clanwilliam dam where there was a lovely collection of local plant species that kept Denny occupied for what seemed hours.
Our first major excursion was a 45klm dive up the Pakhuis Pass and on to the Biedouw Valley. Views of the Valley before commencing the descent are mind blowing. The pass road is well maintained and in places is concreted. It is easily suitable for non 4 X 4 vehicles.
Once in the valley every direction provides views of yet more beautiful colour combinations.
As we were not in a 4 X 4 we left the valley on the same road and stopped off at a farm stall for welcome coffee and crumpets. This was followed on the way back with stopping and starting to view and identify the amazing diversity of plant species.
On our third day in Clan William we were most fortunate in being given a tip off to visit Boskloof Valley. It is reached 2 Klm out of Clan William on the R364; turn right at the second turn off after leaving the town and within a few kilometres, and for the next 10 Klm, there is a feast of flowers.
On the fourth day of our tour we headed back on the N7 going north and after 50 Klm turned off at Vanrynsdorp where we paid an interesting visit to the well-known Cactus Nursey. It was then back on the R27 for another 50 Km up the spectacular Van Ryns Pass.
At the top of the pass a short drive of 10 Klm to Nieuwoudville, which rightfully claims to be the Bulb Capital of the World. It is a hamlet on the Bokerveld Mountain Plateau and is a botanical marvel with the highest speciation of bulbs in the world. Flower appear from late March to October, normally peaking in August and September.
It is not easy to find suitable accommodation in Niewoudville, but we were lucky to have secured a small house let out for the season.
The next posting covers Niewoudtsville back to Cape Town