Spring Flowers Trip 2022 – West Coast National Park

This is the last of my series of posts on the Spring flowers trip we undertook in 2022

The Background

With wonderful memories of our Spring Flowers trip through parts of the Western Cape in September 2021 still fresh in our minds, we decided to do a similar, but different, trip in September 2022. Our planned route was to take us to Tulbagh for one night, then three nights each in Clanwilliam and Paternoster. To round off the trip we treated ourselves to a three-night stay in Cape Town’s Vineyard Hotel, in celebration of our birthdays which “book-ended” the trip,

Decision Time

Our trip had met all of our expectations and we felt more than satisfied with what we had seen and done during our trip so far. Day 7 of our trip was to take us from Paternoster to Cape Town and we debated whether or not to visit the West Coast National Park on the way there or to skip it this year, having ‘done’ it just a year ago.

Fortunately, as it turned out, we decided to head to the Langebaan gate of the Park after our last breakfast at Paternoster Dunes Guest House, and ‘play it by ear’ as to how much of the Park we would have time to explore, bearing in mind the distances involved in getting to the Postberg section of the park, which is only open during the flower season months, and the numbers of other flower viewers we were likely to encounter.

On the way to Langebaan a roadside Jackal Buzzard on a utility pole had me braking for a quick photo

Jackal Buzzard Buteo rufofuscus Rooiborsjakkalsvoël, Paternoster

Langebaan Gate to Postberg

After finding our way through the residential areas of Langebaan, we arrived at the gate into the Park where 12 cars were waiting to enter. The queue moved quickly and we were soon in the Park and making good progress to the T-junction where we turned right towards Postberg

West Coast NP

We like to stop at every interesting bush to have a closer look at its flowers – the following two images are an example of a bush appearing fairly nondescript, but once you get up close and personal the flowers are quite striking

West Coast NP
West Coast NP

And so our journey went, all the way to Postberg section, stopping frequently, hopping in and out of the car to get a closer look and a photo from the right angle.

A few others seemed to be doing the same, but the majority passed by with hardly a glance, eager to get to Postberg for the massed displays of flowers – to each his own, but we prefer to take in everything we see

Now if only I knew the names of some of these beauties – it took me a few years to build up a reasonable knowledge of birds, now it seems to be taking even longer to learn more about the flowers and I still feel like a raw beginner

West Coast NP
West Coast NP
West Coast NP
West Coast NP
West Coast NP
West Coast NP

Once into the Postberg section of the Park, we joined the many vehicles driving the gravel roads and admiring the incredible displays of multi-coloured flowers – irresistible for more photos!

West Coast NP
West Coast NP
Cape Spurfowl among flowers, West Coast NP
West Coast NP

At one point on the return journey to the gate, the sky was filled with Gulls, wheeling above the flower-bedecked flats – quite a sight to see!

West Coast NP
West Coast NP

Edible Flowers too!

And on a lighter note – did you know that some of the flowers in the park are edible? Well, I can confirm this is so, as you will see from the following photos of a cookieata sweetieae that we came across as we drove to Postberg – it is well known in the Biedouw Valley

Cookieata sweetieae, West Coast NP
Mmmmm, rather nice

And that, dear readers, is how the cookie crumbles

4 thoughts on “Spring Flowers Trip 2022 – West Coast National Park”

  1. This takes me back to our brief sojourn to Postberg in September last year – I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey and simply LOVE the ending!

  2. Where do I place an order for Cookieata sweetieae????

    Beautiful scenery, Don, and I can certainly agree with your mantra of taking it slow to take in more.

    1. You will have to go to the little Padstal in the Biedouw Valley for that particular species – and you will be rewarded with plenty of non-edible flowers as well! Taking it slow works for just about everything – unless you’re a Formula 1 driver of course…

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