2016 West Coast National Park (Zuid-Afrika)
The West Coast National Park is much loved by bikers, hikers, birders, whale-watchers, plant-lovers, kite-boarders, kayakers and anglers. But if you’re not into all that action, just spend a little time following a tortoise around. Or sit and gaze at the antelope picking their way through spring flowers. There are times at the West Coast National Park when you may feel a case of sensory overload coming on. For photographers, that's usually in the first flush of spring. The waters of the Langebaan lagoon are a delicious turquoise fading to white at the shoreline. The wild flowers have turned the land orange, purple, yellow and pink all the way to the horizon. And then, entering stage left, a herd of eland and bontebok, striding over the flowers as if they were pacing out the world's biggest and most colourful Persian carpet. If you're also a birder, that's when you might just slip over into ecstasy. Around 200 species can be seen here, just around the lagoon. Many are from far afield. The curlew sandpiper, for example, makes a pilgrimage to the West Coast National Park all the way from the Arctic every year.