Western Cape's wildflowers in all its natural glory
< previous | September 2019 blog
After a long winter and as rays of golden sunny goodness return to our shores, South Africa’s floral region bursts at the seams to welcome summer!
As if in an harmonious celebration, the majestic Cape Floral kingdom ignites into a fierce array of vibrant colour as the world-renowned wildflowers come into full bloom. For nature lovers, this is the perfect opportunity to view the biodiversity hotspots in the region and catch a glimpse of the many plant species which are found nowhere else on this planet. For the rest of us, it is an absolute Instagram haven and is guaranteed to provide some serious Insta perfection. Either way, we’ve got the low down on our favourite viewing spots, the best ways to see the flowers and some few unexpected hidden gems, just for you.
For those looking for their floral fill, South Africa most definitely delivers! There are a variety of locations to marvel upon our floral diversity and a few different time windows as to when to view!
One of the most well-known areas is in and around the West Coast National Park. A favourite among travellers and locals due to the abundance of florals on display and the convenient distance from Cape Town; making it a totally viable day trip! Flowers aside, the West Coast National Park is a beauty on any day boasting dramatic coastal scenes, local wildlife, rolling hills and the azure blue waters of the Langebaan Lagoon - something out of a magazine!
However, as a cherry on top, during the months of August and September, you can expect to see the vast plains burst into a kaleidoscope of colour as the wildflowers spring into bloom. The Postberg section of the reserve is the most impressive and is only open during the flower months! It is well worth a trip, whether you're a nature enthusiast or wild-at-heart adventurer...
A little closer to the Mother City, on the slopes of Table Mountain, the prized Kirstenbosch Gardens are a delight to traverse and showcase a multitude of local flora and award wining floral displays. Spring ushers in a burst of colour, heavenly scents and pure goodness, and offers you the chance to view a dynamic representation of the famed Cape Floral Kingdom. A guided garden walk or even a casual meander along the footpaths is destined to leave you in awe of Mother Nature.
Harold Porter Botanical Gardens
A journey along the sensational Clarence Drive will bring you to the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens. This hidden gem is situated in the Kogelberg Biosphere and offers a serene, untouched look into the world of fynbos. Dotted with spectacular hiking trails, you can follow the shady foot trails all the way to hidden waterfalls in search of the elusive Disa orchid, found only in this region.
The Cederberg and Namaqualand play home to a vibrant display of wildflowers from late July to late August and offer an off-the-beaten track experience with wide open expanses of never-ending orange daisy and rainbow hue flower carpets. Many of these species are found nowhere else on the planet, such as the snow protea, the pink cyanella, the Clanwilliam cedar and more! For those die-hard flower fans, this is most definitely an experience worth marking out on your calendar (at least a year in advance).
Cape Coast & Overberg
The sheer variety of indigenous fynbos flora found in the region, even just on Table Mountain alone, is staggering. Fynbos, an Afrikaans word meaning “delicate bush”, is the name given to the scrubby vegetation consisting of four primary plant groups: Proteas (large broad-leafed shrubs), ericas (low-growing shrubs), restios (thin reed-like plants) and geophytes (bulbs).
Kogelberg Nature Reserve, known as the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, has exceptional quality fynbos held within its 100 000 hectare expanse that runs along the coastal Helderberg and Overberg to Hermanus regions. As an integral part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, fynbos makes up one of the richest floristic regions in the world! In fact, per square kilometre, fynbos contains three times more species variety than the Amazon rainforest and doesn’t grow anywhere else on the planet!
If you’re looking for a little fynbos fauna and flora combo, then the Hermanus flower festival at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve is just for you. An array of interactive flower workshops and displays can even be combined with an afternoon of whale watching in one of the best land-based whale watching locations in the world!
Most Western Cape flower locations are easily accessible to all Cape Town visitors and a day trip or mountain hike can provide the perfect opportunity to fill up your flower tank. Self-drives are an option, but for the full experience, we’d suggest a guided day tour from Cape Town to give you the chance to keep your eyes fixed on the flowers while your guide does the driving!
We’re also experts in all the flower viewing tips (who knew it was so complex?) like making sure to follow the sun so that the flowers are always looking “at you” instead of away from you and how to avoid the crowds of fellow flower lovers! If you’re looking for a more in-depth floral excursion beyond the West Coast region, we’d suggest an escorted multi-day flower tour in the Cederberg region. These tours book up months in advance, so we recommend you plan this one early!
As you know by now, South Africa, and particularly the Cape region, is blessed with a completely unique floral diversity and we’re serious about conserving that diversity! As a tour operator, we’re well aware that our environment is a massive component of every magical moment we offer to our travellers, which is why we place an equally massive focus on the importance of conserving and respecting our environment. We've partnered with Greenpop over the years to ensure we’re doing our bit to conserve the gift we’ve been given and make sure it will still be as beautiful for the many generations to come! We plant trees with Greenpop on a monthly basis to help offset our carbon footprint and contribute to their Fynbos for the Future Urban Greening Project.