Nothing mirrors the promise of spring like Mother Nature’s own floral explosion as the Cape’s wild flowers burst into colour each spring.
In Cape Town, highway verges, road islands and green parks show off their own seasonal signals with arum lilies, disas and daisies.
From a day out to a weekend trip or extended stay; Cape Town and her surrounding flower-gazing fields are the perfect place to spend time in nature this August and September. With such a limited window of opportunity it’s best to go sooner rather than later, before the rolling hills of colour disappear ahead of summer.
WHERE TO VIEW THE FLORAL DISPLAYS
SANParks Sights of Interest
Flower Season at South African National Parks (SANParks) peaks during August and September. Some of the featured viewing sites include Agulhas, Bontebok, Namaqua, Tankwa Karoo and West Coast Parks where adults pay around R 30 – R 50 and children an affordable R 15 – R 30 to gain entry into the park.
A two hour drive from Cape Town, will take you into the heart of the West Coast National Park, one of SANParks’ favourite viewing sites amongst locals. You may not be the only one with the idea but there are lots of great spots to lunch at and explore in the area, so make a day of it. The Postberg section of West Coast National Park is open only during flower season and Geelbek Restaurant creates lovely picnic baskets to order.
In the Cape Town Area
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden hosts two daily walks, at 10h00 and 14h00 from Monday to Friday. There is an additional walk on Tuesdays at11h00 and one walk on Saturdays at 10h00. Led by The Botanical Society’s volunteer garden guides, each walk is adapted to meet the interests of the group. Walks are free but the garden entrance fee applies. The latest addition to the garden, a 130m long Tree Canopy Walkway, also known as the Boomslang, can also be enjoyed while at Kirstenbosch at no additional cost.
The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands is home to a two and half hectare botanical garden where horticulturist and environmentalist Chris Van Zyl offers daily Garden Walks of 90-minutes starting at 09h30. Tours cost R60 per person.
Up the West Coast
The annual Clanwilliam Flower Show opens on Thursday 28h August, and runs until 6 September 2014. Tickets can be purchased at the door for R 30 per adult, R 25 for pensioners and R 5 for children. Opening times are from 09h00 to 18h00 daily.
Rain or shine, the 97th Darling Wildflower Show will take place from the 19 to 21 September 2014 at the Darling Club, where one can expect to see diverse vegetation displays of about 1 200 species. Adults pay R 40, while pensioners and children pay R 25
To receive up to date information on some of the best sites in the West Coast area, contact the West Coast Flowerline on 071 320 7146 from 08h00 to 20h00, Monday to Sunday.
In the Cape Overberg
Head to The Hermanus Botanical Society Flower Festival 2014 from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 September at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve and you might spot some whales along the way too. Entrance per adult is R 20 and children under twelve go free. The theme for this year will be Plant Explorers, Then and Now. See hundreds of local flowers with some flower bunches and plants available for purchase. Craft, food stalls and kid-friendly activities will have you staying longer.
Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, in the coastal fynbos region of Betty’s Bay, is renowned for its waterfalls and amber pools. Visit now to see the garden at its lush and blooming best. http://www.sanbi.org/node/4925
For customised tours of Cape Town’s scenic landscape including vegetation tours, please contact:
Namakwa Tours http://www.namaquatours.com/
GRF Tours http://www.travelhealthier.com/
Cape Tours with Mac http://www.capewithmac.co.za/
NexStop Tours http://www.nexstop.co.za/
IT’S COMING UP DAISIES
Just missing the wild-flowers? You can rock your own daisies at the Cape’s sell-out annual music festival; Rocking the Daisies on Cloof Wine Farm, Darling. This year the festival happens from 2-5 October 2014. The line-up of local bands includes the Rudimentals, Jeremy Loops, Arno Carstens and Francois van Coke – plus many more on multiple stages. You won’t have to rough it either; Heartbreak Motel offers pre-arranged camping and Daisies Food Village has plenty of gourmet festival food. Don’t hesitate to book, tickets are selling out fast. Follow #RTD2014 to track all the news
For a selection of high resolution images that depict Cape Town’s Flower Season, click here.