For a few amazing weeks each year (mid-August until end-September), the fields, farms, wetlands and dunes of the Western Cape burst into a beautiful riot of colour as the wildflowers come into bloom. Here are our favourite floral hotspots for prime viewing this spring.
West Coast National Park
Undoubtedly one of the best-known spots for wildflower viewing, the West Coast National Park which is located relatively close to Cape Town offers magnificent floral displays. The Postberg Nature Reserve is an oasis of unspoilt beauty, which is only open from August to September. Visitors will be treated to a range of fauna and flora species including daisies, sporries and magriets and the wildlife that grazes in and amongst them.
Biedouw Valley lies over the Pakhuis Pass from Clanwilliam and is often one of the best places in the Western Cape to see the blooms. After good winter rains, the normally dry land becomes a carpet of spring flowers with nemesias, lachenalias, babiana and ixias seen in great profusion. Local farmers restrict their herds from grazing in the valley during the flower season to ensure the flowers are at their best. The Ramskop Gardens in Clanwilliam are worth popping into on the way, too.
Darling Renosterveld Reserve
The Darling Renosterveld Reserve was donated by the local Darling authority and is under the care of the Darling Wildflower Society. The reserve is open all year round and entrance is free, but if you want to see the landscape transform into a carpet of colourful spring flowers the best time to visit is between July and October. The reserve also hosts the annual, century-old Darling Wildflower Show.
Pro tips for getting the most out of flower viewingThe best time to frolic through the wildflowers is in spring between August and September
Flowers are at their best in the afternoon sun, so don’t go bloom hunting on a cloudy day. Wait until the sun’s high in the sky (between 10:30am and 3:30pm is best)
When missioning out around the Western Cape it’s always best to head out a bit earlier to avoid the crowds
For the safety of the visitors, fauna and flora it is best to pre-book your self-game drives, hikes, accommodation or restaurant reservations. This way the parks are able to plan for the number of people
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