Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 9
Location: west coast USA
Please help! :think: We are a poet & a biologist planning our first trip to South Africa for spring 2013 (September). I like inspiring scenery and easy-access short walks. I'm the poet. My husband (biologist) likes native flora & fauna, especially tortoises, reptiles, and native stands of wildflowers, plus any rare native plants (fynbos etc.)

I've read a TON. What do you all think are the best of the Cape Parks & the Garden Route Parks in the spring (September)??

We like to base ourselves in a few good "bases" and do day-trips from there in our car. We prefer spending at least 3 nights in each spot, so we can't see everything.

We are flying out of San Diego or Los Angeles, California. Long trip! We will spend up to a week in or near Cape Town as a base. We have a total of about 17 nights in the Western Cape of South Africa.

I need to narrow our itinerary down to just a few beautiful National parks which have easy accessibility...my husband can walk all day, but due to some current feet issues I can only handle a walk of a couple hours. Did I mention I love good food as well?!

Sorry this question is so long-winded. :tongue:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:36 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 43033
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
BraveWings, welcome to the forums!!!

The Cape is the most STUNNING place to base yourself in a South African spring.

Give yourselves a day to visit West Coast National Park and a day to visit Table Mountain National Park, so base yourselves between the two.

And the Garden Route is also spectacular. Right up to Addo. Have a read here.

Right now the whole area here in the Western Cape is covered with flowering wild flowers. But do keep in mind the weather is unpredictable .... lots of cloudy wet days this time of year, which means the flowers do not open.

_________________
Sawubona
Dalene


It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. Mahatma Gandhi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:17 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 233
Location: West Sussex, England
BraveWings
You will have a wonderful time
Consider:
Arrive Cape Town
Stay in Bontibok NP
Visit:
- Cape Town - normal tourist things
- West Coast National Park
- Cape Point
- Hermanus - Whale Watching
- Stellenbosch - Wine and food
Move East
Stay at Storm River
Visit
- Knysna
- Mountain area to North
Move East
Stay at Mountain Zebra NP
Visit
- Camdeboo
Move South
Stay at Addo Elephant NP
Visit
Port Elizabeth

Just a few of the places to go and things to see
Depart from Port Elizabeth Airport to Jo'burg.

Regards
JDW

_________________
2014 - Sep/Oct - North Wales
2015 - Jun/Jul - Scotland
2015 - Oct/Nov - South Africa (Addo, MZNP, Camdeboo, Storm River, Bontebok, Hermanus, Cape Town)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:52 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 am
Posts: 1664
Location: Worcester , Cape
Drive the "back-roads" for the best scenery . This time of the year , the Klein Karoo becomes stunning with succulents coming into full flower .

_________________
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .


Last edited by okie on Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 9
Location: west coast USA
THANKS everybody for all the awesome suggestions! The hardest thing is trying to narrow our itinerary down so that we can really enjoy just a few special areas. I don't want to create an African blur where we barely have time to see what we are passing by!

It's hard to know which places are best for a spring visit. Also my husband and I are very different, since he is a biologist who can hike all day and I'm a writer/poet with feet problems who likes to walk for an hour or two and then sit and contemplate the beautiful scenery.

I sure appreciate everyone's help.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:57 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:18 am
Posts: 303
Location: Cape Town
Hi BraveWings

if you want to explore an area, then the Wilderness national park (Ebb and Flow) is really an option. From there, you can drive back roads and hike a couple of trails (easy for the fit ones and not so difficult for the not so fit - I managed the Half collared Kingfisher trail with a knee replacement and very unfit/ overweight!!).
It is right next to the river so you can stay in the park and he can do his thing. We were also lucky enough to see a beautiful Puff Adder making his way slowly over the road, but it was still a bit chilly for the other snakes. It is a lovely birding area, in the heart of Fynbos land and you can do the George/ Knysna/ Plettenberg Bay area at your leisure.

There are a number of SANParks in that area and each has their own attraction.

While the Cape parks don't have the Big 5, they are special in their own right.

Whatever you choose, enjoy it!

_________________
KNP - 17 - 20 Oct 2014 (P'kop/ Croc Bridge/ Lower Sabie)
KNP - 8-16 Nov 2014 (Tamboti/ Mopani/ Shipindani/ LS/ Skukuza/ P'kop)
KTP - 26/12 - 2/1/15


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 9
Location: west coast USA
DinkyBird wrote:

Right now the whole area here in the Western Cape is covered with flowering wild flowers. But do keep in mind the weather is unpredictable .... lots of cloudy wet days this time of year, which means the flowers do not open.



Dinkybird: Your quote, above, is exciting! We'd love to see the Western Cape covered with flowering wild flowers...despite those cloudy wet days. But I must admit I will be craving at least some sunny days on our vacation. I was thinking maybe it would be nice to add a visit to a National Park that might be sunnier in September, as well. However we want plenty of time to explore each spot and don't want to rush by all the beauty.

I appreciate all the great info and links from everyone! Thanks! :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:47 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 am
Posts: 1664
Location: Worcester , Cape
BraveWings wrote:

We'd love to see the Western Cape covered with flowering wild flowers...despite those cloudy wet days. But I must admit I will be craving at least some sunny days on our vacation. I was thinking maybe it would be nice to add a visit to a National Park that might be sunnier in September, ..........



BraveWings , it is only the Cape Town side of the mountains that may be very wet in September . Once you get out into the Klein Karoo , down Route 62 , then it is a different matter - in any event , that is where the scenery and flowers are :)
Remember - July , August and very early September is for Namaqualand flowers , but later on for the succullent Karoo and Fynbos biomes .
To get some idea , have a look at my thread under : " Has spring arrived ".

Enjoy .

_________________
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 9
Location: west coast USA
okie: Oh thanks! I'm glad to hear that it's mainly the Cape Town side of the mountains that can be wet in September. Since the Klein Karoo area is dryer and sunnier, that makes it even more enticing. I was considering abandoning the Garden Route in favor of the Klein Karoo area. Just can't do everything. Route 62 sounds great and especially if things are blooming. However it is difficult to pin an itinerary around the weather! I will try to put west coast & Cederberg towards beginning of September and Klein Karoo towards the end if possible. Thanks I will look for your thread under "has spring arrived".

Okie: Maybe I'm dumb but I can't find your thread "has spring arrived". How do find it?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:22 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 3821
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Hi BraveWings and Welcome!

You've already had lots of good advice, now just to add my two cents :wink: While the West Coast can have some wet days in September, most days will be mostly sunny and comfortable and WCNP is lovely — and not only for the flowers in the Postberg section. Don't skip the rest of the park, which also has plenty of flowers and other interesting plants, animals and birds. My favourite spot is Tsaarsbank and the hide at Abrhamskraal can also be rewarding. As well, the whole area around Darling has several worthwhile wildflower reservations and Darling Hills Road (which also boasts the Groote Post wine farm) is a favourite drive for me.

Closer to Cape Town there are good hikes (I'm told, not a hiker myself) in the Silvermine section of Table Mountain — your SO could do a hike while you enjoy just spending time at the Silvermine reservoir, a nice stroll around the res and several well-placed benches along the way to enjoy the views and the birdlife. And there's lots more to Cape Point than the point itself — I recommend the drive to Olifansbos and the road down to Black Rocks, from where you can walk to Venus Pool.

Venturing farther afield, you might consider doing a circular route visiting several parks: starting from Cape Town and head first to Karoo NP, then to Moutain Zebra NP and from there you can choose to visit either (or both) Addo or/and Tsitsikamma (and perhaps Bontebok) en route back to Cape Town.

Enjoy your planning and your trip!

PS: Okie's thread is in the Chit Chat section :)

_________________
RSA 2014
20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
2-15 Nov KNP: Punda Maria, Sirheni, Olifants, Tamboti, Skukuza
16-22 Nov Cape Town
23 Nov-20 Jan Darling


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Best of the Cape Parks in SPRING?? Help!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 9
Location: west coast USA
Thanks everybody! Here is my update. Our trip is mid-September through early October, and we have decided to divide our time like this:
6 nights: west coast region:
6 nights: Cape Town/Cape Peninsula
6 nights: Overberg region or Little Karoo or Garden Route

To explore the beautiful parks of the west coast area in spring, we have decided to rent a car and spend 3 nights in paternoster as a base, and 3 nights somewhere else...where else is a good base?

To explore the parks in the Cape Town & Cape peninsula region, we are spending 6 nights at a guesthouse in Cape Town.

For the end of the trip, still a bit unsure about choosing between Little Karoo, Overberg region and Garden Route. Leaning towards choosing Little Karoo and Overberg...but it's befuddling to decide which of your forums to post this question on, since it covers parks in more than 1 region.

Thanks a million for everybody's input! Since we are getting a bit off the regular tourist routes, there isn't enough info in the typical tourist guidebooks. I appreciate this specialized forum on the parks!

:k


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by rodandginge at 22:49:35 Submitted by Ellies at 21:12:23 Submitted by stu at 23:56:04 Submitted by stu at 23:45:32