Hike #23: The Steenbok Flower Trail

A few years ago, Alison was lucky enough to gatecrash a party of well-organised hikists who had booked permits for the Steenbok Trail in the West Coast National Park on the optimal date of 1 September (officially the first day of Spring in SA). She never forgot that hike: it was a day spent in a fairyland of flowers. There were more blossoms than you could believe in – with the added bonus of eland, springbok, zebra and bontebok standing about in swathes of pink, orange, yellow and white.

So, this year, Alison bullied and cajoled and whatsapped her friends to the brink of exhaustion to get them to plan far enough ahead to book permits for the trail. It was hard work to force more than two Capetonians at a time to commit to something more than three hours in advance, but in the end only one precious permit went unused (*ahem, Derek*).

Unfortunately, although most of the group was appreciative, the weather was slightly pnoofy (it rained twice), and the consequently lackadaisical show of daisies made Alison sniff in some disapproval. Next year, permit booking will happen sooner, the date will be slightly later, and a group of even more stalwart hikists will be assembled to do the 2-day Postberg trail – complete with camping! (Serious applicants may comment below.)

Steenbok Flower Trail Hike details

52CapeTownHikes rating: Definitely Won’t Die

Distance: 14km (mostly flat)

Duration: If you frolic about taking flower photos (and why the hell wouldn’t you?), at least 5 or 6 hours.

Trail directions we used: The trail marker sticks. And tortoises.

Remember: You need to book for this trail well in advance, especially if you want to go on a weekend, as only 20 people are permitted on the trail each day. Click here for all booking info. (Bookings open in June.)

Parking: Just outside the Postberg section of West Coast National Park. You should start the trail by 9am and it’s about a 40 minute drive from the gate of the WCNP to the Postberg section, so aim to get to the gate of the WCNP by 8am.

Highlights of this hike

  • Flowers
  • Flowers
  • Flowers
  • Tortoises
  • Flowers
  • Eland
  • Zebras
  • Flowers
  • Rocks
  • Flowers
  • Beach
  • Flowers

Alison Westwood is a travel writer and hikist. You can read more of her writing at alisonwestwood.com

Photographs of the Steenbok Flower Trail


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2 Responses to Hike #23: The Steenbok Flower Trail

  1. Oliver Kruger Jun 15, 2018 at 9:23 pm #

    Dear Alison. Articles are awesome but there’s no word such as ‘Hikist’. Not even in Finnish. Apologies for being the Semantics police but I can’t help myself… Oliver

  2. Alison Jun 18, 2018 at 11:55 am #

    Actually, I’m awaiting the OED’s approval of the word, along with the fact that I coined it. A ‘hikist’ is distinct from a ‘hiker’ in that a hiker is someone only temporarily engaged in the activity. A ‘hikist’ is someone who is always planning their next hike. Not to be confused with a ‘hikee’, who is someone who stupidly agreed to come on a hike and isn’t enjoying it very much, and definitely not to be confused with a ‘hikoo’, which is a blatant misspelling of an annoying form of poetry.

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