Every year there is an impressive display of wild flowers on our West Coast, where the dry and desolate region transforms into a carpet of splendour. We have had such good rains over the past few wintry weeks and the traditional West Coast spring flowers are going to be impressive…
For two months of the year there is an overnight hike called the Postberg Trail, through the West coast National Park, where you can wander through fields and fields of wild flowers. It is the perfect escape from the maddening crowds and a fantastic way to get away from it all – and it is for just one night, so it really can be done. The hiking is not strenuous at all, if you can manage a daily walk then you can definitely manage this.
Day 1: A Wander Down the Length of the Lagoon
There is one small hill near the start and another hill at lunchtime, nothing impossible… the rest is flat pretty much flat. The entire route is marked with poles and from one pole you should be able to see to the next one… just follow the poles and you can’t go wrong.
This is the perfect hike for amblers, you will stop and take a lot of photographs!!! There is a lot to see apart from the flowers, the views of the lagoon are impressive, and lots of birds and small wildlife to admire.
A lovely afternoon walk across the plains takes you to the overnight camp at Plankiesbaai.
At the camping spot they leave break wood and grids out for the campers, there are also toilets, hand basins and water available, for refilling your water bottles. It is a good idea to get to your campsite during the afternoon so that you have time to set up your tent, have a swim in the Atlantic ocean and get your campfire going before it gets dark.
Enjoy the sunset…
And wonder at the stars…
Day 2: A Stroll Along the Coast and Back to the Start.
Well worth getting up in the morning for a crisp and beautiful dawn… the second day includes loads more flowers…
And on a good day, you can see all the way to Table Mountain…
Take a moment to swim in the ocean…
And a wander along the beach, back to the start of the hike…
What to Pack
- A Tent – I think a tent is essential on the West Coast, it is early spring and so, still fairly crisp and because you are on the coast there is a lot of overnight mist. Without a tent you could wake up soaked.
- A Sleeping bag.
- A small camp stove (and fuel) and a pot to boil water – one for the whole group is enough.
- A mug for your hot drinks and a spork to eat your dinner.
- The clothes I hike in… gym shorts, gym bra, t-shirt, hiking socks (Balega of course), and trail shoes.
- Comfy clothes: a base layer and yoga pants for the night.
- A Puffer jacket that folds up really small and puffs up into something warm for the night or if cold weather rolls in.
- A waterproof cover, it is spring and it could rain… I have hiked this hike in glorious sunshine and torrential rain, it is insight of Cape Town (the city with every season in a day) after all…
- Hiking Poles – I love mine.
- A hat to protect you from the sun, and sunscreen.
- A battery pack to charge your phone, there isn’t signal, but you will want to take a lot of flower photographs!!!
- A basic first aid kit – I have rehydrate, a couple of plasters, wet wipes, anthisane (In case of nasty insect bites).
What to Eat
You will need lunch and dinner on the first day, and breakfast and lunch on the second day. The dinner is totally sorted, hiking the Fish River Canyon with Forever Fresh Foods last year I will never carry any other kind of camping food again. Head for the Forever Fresh Website, choose your meal, and relax… your meal will be easy to carry, light, and really easy to prepare… a warm hearty meal packed with vegetables and great nutrition is the perfect way to go after a great day of hiking.
Usually on the way to the hike we stop for breakfast along the way, and I will grab a toastie, a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich, which I pop in my pack and ready for lunch. For breakfast, I am a FutureLife girl all the way… I always pack one of their squeeze and pop breakfast on any hike, if the hike was longer than overnight, then I would just take Futurelife powder and enough for every breakfast. Otherwise an energy bar for each day, some fruity snacks or a couple of jelly sweets for encouragement along the way.
And the winner for fireside treats and stargazing… I always make space in my pack for smore’s. Bar One smores are the best… pop some Bar One bites in your pack, with marshmallows and a couple of biscuits, don’t forget to take a couple wooden skewers, that you can toss into the fire once you are done.
And finally to drink, I will have two water bottles for the day, one with an energy drink and one with just water. Then I will take to rooibos teabags, one for breakfast time and one for the evening and a hot chocolate sachet for just before bed.
The Postberg Section of the West Coast National Park is only open during August and September, and most of the hike is never open to the general public. The route is only open to a 12 people a day, that have pre-booked the trail, so you are walking through very pristine countryside. You may bump into a few people, we bumped into a delightful group of ladies that hike this hike every year and were celebrating an eightieth birthday. What an inspiration they were… and hoping to bump into them again every year!!!
You can find all the details, how to book and when to book on the SANParks website, over here. Basically you pay a small fee for the hike itself, and that secures your booking (about R170 per person in 2023). Then on the day you pay your entrance into the park, you need to have your identity document with you and look at the daily park entry fees for this amount, which varies according to your nationality and age etc. So it is extremely affordable, round up your friends… gather up your gear and head out!!!
- Where: West Coast National Park, Langebaan.
- When to Go: this hike is ONLY open to the public during August/September.
- Why: Spectacular display of Spring FLowers and glorious views.
- Where to Book: Give the West Coast National Park a call from the 1 June.
- Distance: 16.8km over two days.
- Accomodation: Overnight camping spot at PlankiesBaai.
- Equipment: Bring your own camping gear, they provide braai wood and fresh water at the overnight spot.
- Water: Carry your own and refill your water bottles at the overnight spot before heading out on day 2.
- Weather Conditions: This is Cape Town spring, the weather can be anything, be prepared for wind and rain as well as sunshine… it really could go either way.
Photos from the Hike…
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