FLOWERS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE
An ocean of colour – fields covered in a sea of purple, yellow, orange, blue and white. This is what Spring at the West Coast is all about.
About 2 hours drive north of Cape Town, up the R27, you’ll reach the West Coast National Park. This area of South Africa receives little rain throughout the year but after the winter rains from May to July/August, the normally dry landscape becomes a carpet of wild flowers with vibrant bands of Gousblomme and Vygies, as well as Nemesias, Lachenalias, Babiana and Ixias. It is a world know spectacle for flora and nature lovers.
Two main areas are easily accessible for a day trip from Cape Town: Clanwilliam and the Cedarberg Mountains in-land, The Sandveld & the West Coast along the ocean.
At the foothills of the Cedarberg lies the town of Clanwilliam and a number of flower routes. These include the Bieudouw valley. Which can be the highlight of any flower tour in a good year – the Boskloof valley or Nardouwsberg.
If you pick your dates right, you can also visit the Clanwilliam Flower Show held between 24 August to 2 September this year. Every year about 400 species from 32 families are exhibited in their typical setting at the Clanwilliam Flower Show. Here the flowers botanical names, as well as their tongue-twisting local names, are displayed. For more information and last minute updates it is best to browse http://clanwilliamwildflowershow.co.za/
From the Cederberg you can head west to the ocean through an area known as the Sandveld.
Continue south along the West Coast Road (R27) via the picturesque fishing village of Paternoster with its Columbine Nature Reserve. Then head along to the West Coast National Park. Along this coastal strip, you find the strandveld of salvias and showy daisies.
Within the West Coast National Park lies the Postberg Nature Reserve. This reserve boasts the greatest variety of birds, game and Sandveld flowers in the Western Cape. This special section of the park is only open during August to October. The Darling Flower show held 14 – 16 September, is a concentrated show of the beauty that surrounds. Detailed information is available on https://www.darlingwildflowers.co.za/
Flower Viewing Tips
– The best time for viewing is between 10:30 and 16:00 during the warmest part of the day when the flowers are open.
– The day temperature must be at least 18 degrees Celsius.
– Sunny days are best for the opening of flowers. Rainy or overcast weather is not ideal so avoid disappointment. Plan to visit other sights on such days.
– Flowers face the sun and are therefore best displayed when traveling with the sun behind you. Viewers are advised to travel north soon after departure and then to do most flower-viewing by moving in a southerly direction.
– When taking a circular route, try traveling in a westerly direction in the morning, followed by a southerly one and finally an easterly one.
– Get out of the car and walk amongst the flowers but make sure to also look for the delicate, smaller species.
– Tread lightly and carefully so as not to trample plants unnecessarily.
– Please don’t pick any flowers.
– Many outlying areas do not have mobile phone reception.
– Make sure that you set off on your journey with a full tank as fuel is not readily available everywhere. It is thus also important that you take your own drinking water.
For a current update about what and where to see follow the West Coast news on http://www.capewestcoast.org/news/
May 14, 2019
April 24, 2019
March 29, 2019