Each year, between August and September, the spring flowers on the Cape West Coast create my personal idea of paradise. One of the best places to see them is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town in the West Coast National Park. Here, a special section of the park, the Postberg Flower Reserve, is kept fenced off and closed – except for a few weeks in spring, when it turns into fairyland.
If you’re not a fan of using your legs (or your legs aren’t a fan of being used), you can choose to cruise around the reserve in a car. In that case, I recommend you visit on a weekday, as there can be rather a lot of cars on weekends, and sitting in a traffic jam could dampen your feelings of bliss.
However, if at all possible, you should really experience Postberg on foot. The Steenbok Trail is an easy day trail through the flowers. It’s only open during August and September for a limited number of people each day. Bookings open in June, and most of the weekend spots are snapped up pretty quickly, so put ‘Book the Steenbok Trail’ into your calendar for 1 June. There’s also a two-day Postberg hiking trail, which I’ve still got on my wishlist.
The Steenbok Trail is supposed to be a five hour hike of around 14km. Somehow, I managed to make it last over seven hours. It’s an easy walk, with only a couple of small hills, but I was delayed by an overwhelming need to take approximately a bajillion flower photographs. It didn’t help that there were bontebok, zebra, springbok and eland posing perfectly on carpets of pink, orange, yellow and white.
Just one last word of advice: whether you hike or drive, make sure you prepare with plenty of gym sessions. It turns out that flower photography involves doing an unnatural number of squats and pushups.