Things To Do in SpringbokSilver Sands Trail
Where? Namaqua National Park, Hondeklipbaai near Springbok, Northern Cape
When? Booking is required.
How? Call Jacana on +27 (0)12 803-4144
How much? Price on request
Start: Namaqua National Park, Hondeklipbaai
Finish: base camp
Duration: 55 km over five days
Our tip: enjoy the total lack of cell phone reception
This beautiful beach hike takes place within the new extension of the Namaqua National Park between the Spoeg and Groen rivers. Most people try to do the trail during the flower season - between late August and early October the trail is described as so unique that there is no other hike to compare.
But those who have gone before say that there is more than enough to merit doing the hike at other times of the year – whale sightings, rock pools brimming over with marine life, the second largest seal colony along the West Coast and over 150 birds that include Ludwig's bustard, steppe buzzard and the African oystercatcher – although you might want to bear in mind that summer can get very hot in the Northern Cape.
A couple of notes:
• If you are not used to beach walking, the hike can get difficult. But you have the option of doing the trail as either fully catered or self-catered. Either way, the hike is a slackpack and you have only to carry a day pack.
• Each night is spent in a mobile camp, a series of two-man canvas tents with camping mattresses and a communal tent housing toilets and showers, that moves with the hike.
• Reaching the main camp site from where you start and end the hike necessitates a 4x4 vehicle and you will need a fairly detailed map to find it (you can understand why this hike might become popular, for it is far from anyone or anything).
The trail sticks close to the waters edge, takes you through sand dunes past the landmark Policmen's helmet. It explores the Nama succulents (a unique flora created by the mist that blows in off the ocean) as well as the wine vineyards of Lutzville.