NAMAQUALAND SPRING FLOWERS (TOUR 1) JHB-JHB
Every year, between late July and mid-September,parts of small towns in the Namaqualand region such as Springbok, Nababeep, Kamieskroon and Calvinia become covered with carpets of flowers, varying from pink daisies to Dimorphotheca pluvialis (the Namakwa daisy).
Namaqualand spring flowers are rated among the most spectacular in the world. In a recent article, The Telegraph named the region as one of the 20 greatest destinations on Earth for seeing flowers. In Namaqualand you will encounter daisies galore – splashes of mauve, together with seas of gold, delicate blues and rich greens that will fill your senses and be a feast for your eyes.
NAMAQUALAND SPRING FLOWER TOUR 2021
Once a year the Western and Northern Cape is transformed into a spectacle more than the mind can imagine. Come with us to see this amazing wonder.
29 Aug: The exciting Namaqualand tour starts this morning as the passengers from Pretoria gather at Burgerspark hotel in Pretoria. We depart from here and travel to Bedfordview where we will meet in front of the post office. Once all the passengers have boarded we will continue passed Johannesburg and Klerksdorp and on to Wolmaransstad. Here we have a tea break. Then we travel further into the Northern Cape to Vryburg where we will stop for lunch. We continue past Schweizer Reneke and in the midafternoon we arrive in Kuruman.
Our first visit is to the Robert Moffat mission station.
The Kuruman Moffat Mission at Seodin outside Kuruman, South Africa, traces its establishment, by the London Missionary Society, to 1816, although the first settlement was not where the mission now stands but at ‘New Lattakoo’. The move to the present site at Seodin was made in 1824. Missionaries William Edwards and Robert Hamilton founded the mission but it was Robert Moffat, who joined them in 1820, whose name became synonymous with the Kuruman Mission. He with his wife Mary Moffat remained there until 1870. Having learnt Setswana, Moffat produced a complete translation of the Bible by 1857, in which year it was printed on the mission press at Kuruman – the first time that the Bible had been printed in its entirety anywhere in Africa, and the first time in a previously unwritten African language.
Then we head for the “Eye” of Kuruman, the spring where all their water comes from.
Did you know? The Eye was declared a National Monument in 1992 and continues to be historically and naturally relevant.
The Eye of Kuruman is a spectacular natural phenomenon that is nestled in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. It is the largest natural fountain in the Southern Hemisphere, delivering an astounding 20 to 30 million litres of fresh water every day. This water is cool and clear, and is essential to the survival of the plants, animals and people in the area as it is the main source of potable water for these ones. It feeds the Kuruman River and flows into two long irrigation canals.We overnight at Eldorado Lodge. (D, B)
30 Aug: Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning and then depart for Upington. Here we visit some of the interesting places such as the dried fruit factory where you can buy cheap dried fruit direct from the factory. Enjoy an early lunch here. Then we travel to Kanon Eiland in the middle of the Orange River.
Cannon Island is the largest island in the Orange River . Due to its fertile soil and abundant water, it is a thriving irrigation area.
The island is 14 km long, at its widest 3 km and has an area of 2 500ha of which two thirds are under irrigation. It is mainly farmed with vines, but pecans, lucerne , cotton and fruits (mainly sultanas ) are also found. Periodic floods such as those of 1934, 1957, 1967 and 2011 flooded parts of the island and caused damage, leaving a layer of fertile soil. Cannon Island is the largest populated island in the country.
At the highest point is a small town with a NG church, school, police and post office, a few shops and several houses.
After this visit to this little hamlet we travel to Keimoes. Visit the Waterwheels still irrigating the surrounding vineyards.
The wheel is still in excellent condition and is a well-known landmark on the canal at Keimoes, in front of a beautiful vineyard.
Later in the afternoon we arrive at the town of Kakamas which is our home for tonight at the Kalahari Gateway hotel. Overnight with dinner. (B,D)
31 Aug: Enjoy a lazy morning as we have breakfast and then a short distance away we find the Olifants river wine cellars
where we can partake in some wine tasting as well as purchasing, if you wish to bring back some delicious wines. Really special wines come from this region like the Muscadels and Hanepoot because of the dry area the grapes grow in.
Then we head for Augrabies Falls.
Our breath is taken away by the sheer beauty of these falls and raw granite rocks.
After we spent some time here and walk along the falls we leave for Boesmanland. This is a sheep farming area. We travel to Pofadder where we take time out to enjoy lunch. Buy some Pofadder biltong here, really delicious.
The very little town of Pofadder lies surrounded by rugged, sparsely populated and very scenic countryside. Here locals make their money from sheep or goats farming.
Pofadder has quite a history too. It might be little more than a couple of tar roads, a café, church and hotel, but there was quite a resistance mounted by the original Koranna people (offshoots of the Khoi-Khoi) who made this part of the country their home back when a mission station was set up here in 1875. The station was named Pofadder, not after the snake of the same name as many assume, but after the local Koranna chief. A few fresh water springs, called the Koranna springs, were what attracted these people here originally, and a town soon followed in 1918, officially called Theronsville. Pofadder, however, stuck, and the official name soon followed suit and reverted.
Finally we make our way to the Springbok area in the middle of the flower world.
We finally wend our way to Okiep the old mining town. Dinner and overnight. (B.D)
01 Sept: This morning first we visit the Springbok Café a famous landmark in this area where you will find a beautiful selection of semi-precious stones and an amazing selection of postcards of the flower areas of Namaqualand. We make this a flower finding day as we head for Kamieskroon where we have a tea break.
Kamieskroon was founded in 1924, when the Dutch Reformed Church bought the land to relocate from Bowesdorp, 8 km to the north of the current location of the town. The move was forced by a shortage of water and restricted space for the growth of the town. Kamieskroon is located at the foot of the “Kroon” (Afrikaans, meaning Crown), a small koppie that resembles the crown of a king.
With a packed lunch today we visit Skilpad Nature Reserve with it’s magnificent display of orange daisies. This is all flower areas and we will go off the main road to find the flowers today.
Travel down south to Bitterfontein and then on to Van Rhynsdorp where we will visit the succulent nursery where the most unique plants can be seen and purchased to bring home. Tiny plants which don’t even look as if they are growing but they flower with the tiniest flowers at certain times of the year.
Then we visit another winery and taste some of the excellent wines from this region. Maybe you want to buy a bottle or two to take home. After this visit we take the gravel road to Lamberts Bay on the beach. Arrive late afternoon. Still time to stretch your legs on the beach before we prepare for dinner. Overnight Marine Hotel Lamberts Bay. (B, L, D)
02 Sept: Today we visit Bird Island to see the countless birds that nest on the island.
The rest of the morning is at leisure to enjoy as you wish. At 11h30 we gather on board our coach and travel out of Lamberts Bay to our lunch excursion at Muisbosskerm on the beach.
This is a wonderful experience where this open air restaurant serves you 16 different fish dishes (some on a braai, others smoked) and freshly baked bread out of the ovens on the beach. After our wonderful lunch we do some flower excursion along the back roads past many little bays all along the coast. We return to Lamberts Bay late afternoon. If you can still eat anything dinner is included tonight. Overnight Lamberts Bay. (B,L,D)
03 Sept: After breakfast this morning we head for Clan William. Here we visit the wonderful Ramskop Nature Garden with it’s amazing collection of plants from all over Namaqualand.
Take time to walk in this garden and maybe you would like to purchase some seeds from this area to plant at home.
After this we visit the Rooibos tea shop and then the Velskoen factory where you may want to purchase some velskoens. We have lunch at Clan William.
After lunch travel out of town into the Cedarberg mountains. Marvel at the different shapes of the rocks and mountains and use your imagination for the different shapes you see.
We visit Louis Leipoldt’s grave high up in the Cedarberg Mountains.
Then we make our way down the mountain and leave Clan William. We travel down south now through beautiful flowers of various colours.
Arrive at Citrusdal Country Lodge late afternoon. Time for a walk through town. Dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
04 Sept: After early breakfast we leave Citrusdal and make our way to Ceres.
From here we join the N1 at Touws River and travel to Beaufort West for a lunch stop. Then our route is via Three Sisters and Colesberg to Gariep Dam.
This is our overnight stop with dinner. (B, D)
05 Sept: Today we have breakfast and depart for Bloemfontein. Pass Winburg, Kroonstad and a stop will be made for lunch here. Arrive back in Bedfordview about 17h30, and Pretoria at 18h30. (B)
We trust you had a wonderful tour and that the memories will remain etched on your brain forever
Transport in luxury vehicle.
Services of a registered guide.
Meals and entrance fees as mentioned.
Tips and gratuities.
Anything else of a personal nature.
Thank you for travelling with Swann Travel-Hope to see you soon
8 DAY JHB-JHB