When a place is only open to the public two months of the year and the main hiking trail is only open to twenty people a day during that period, you know you are in for a treat. The Postberg section of the West Coast National Park about an hour north of Cape Town was just that.
Nestled between the raging Atlantic Ocean and the sublime Langebaan Lagoon, Postberg is a private section of this national park that opens to the public in August and September for the flower season. There are a few roads that take you through the rolling grass and shrub covered landscape, but to truly experience this little slice of heaven you need to be on foot.
We had been told about this wonderful experience by some really good friends and so we made special plans to ensure we could undertake the 14km hike during our trip. Imagine how disappointed we were to be told that there was only one space left for that day and there was nothing they could do to accommodate us!
Thankfully Cora was persistent and the rangers at the gate had a much more rational and reasonable approach than the bookings office at the park headquarters. The forecast wasn’t good so they assured us that someone would likely cancel so they allowed us both in. The hike has become increasingly popular so it gets booked out as early as May or June that year so anyone interested plan ahead!
The morning was gray, rainy and windy as we set off across a marshy section at the start but none of that could dampen our elation at being able to do the hike. The first short climb was also wet and blustery, but we still had some great views over the lagoon and surrounding parts of the park. Before long, the sun came out and we had even more beautiful views throughout the hike.
The trail takes you over the hillsides, through thick brush, along the side of open savannah-esque grassland and along the boulder strewn coastline. You even get to wander across a sandy beach before you are done – the diversity of landscape was stunning!
Throughout the hike we came across a massive array of flowers – blues, whites, reds, pinks, yellows, oranges and lovely combinations of all the above.
Grazing amongst these flowers, fields and bushes were scattered herds of zebra and kudu. At our feet, we would frequently stumble upon one of the hundreds of tortoises who call this place home. With intricate markings and a deliberate pace, you do have to be quite aware of these special little creatures. This is the reverse side of the large wildlife out on the plains – hidden and intimate.
We can’t tell you how glad we are that we were able to walk amongst Postberg. It is without a doubt one of our favourite experiences since we arrived in Southern Africa and though it is a long hike, it is one I would gladly do over and over again.