My raised eyebrows were in danger of disappearing into my hairline when my colleagues suggested a nice hike as a team-building exercise. A born-and-raised city girl, I generally preferred my ground flat and my flowers in bunches or boxes back then.
But I’ll let you in on a secret I discovered as we made our way along the Postberg Flower Trail: hiking is walking. (Who knew, right?) And hiking in Cape Town is walking but in the most beautiful natural scenery imaginable.
The Postberg Flower Reserve isn’t open all year, despite being part of the West Coast National park. You can only access it in August and September, as the rest of the year it is left as undisturbed as possible so the endemic wildflowers can really put on a show come spring. And that they do – the hillsides and open plains and basically every nook and cranny of this lovely piece of the Earth erupt in sprays of yellow, purple, blue, orange, red and a combination of all the rest.
We enjoyed a leisurely day’s walk through this spectacular display by Mother Nature, but you can book a two-day overnighter through SANParks. Day one is 15.5 km (or six hours) and day two is 11.8 km (about 3.5 hours). The maximum number of people they take on the trail at any one time is 12, so you need to book well in advance (if you didn’t make it this year, there’s always next year early birds).
Please take note, the hike is not guided. There is a path and it is important you stick to this and don’t take any shortcuts. The overnight camp has ablutions, drinking water, firewood and braai facilities, but no hot showers or cooking utensils. You are also required to bring a tent (or you’ll be sleeping under the still somewhat chilly stars). Water is available at the main gate and the overnight point, but nowhere else, so ensure you bring enough or fill up sufficiently at these points.
Where Leave Cape Town and head along the R27 towards Langebaan. The sign for the West Coast National park is well marked.
When August and September annually
Contact www.sanparks.co.za, +27 22 707 9902 (Geelbek Information Centre)