Did you know that the Cape floral region is a declared World Heritage Site? And, that this floral kingdom, the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, has over 9 500 recorded species – most of which do not occur anywhere else in the world! Pretty remarkable.
Be it throughout the expansive Table Mountain National Park, the world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens , the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens (in Betty’s Bay) or the West Coast National Park (and that is just for a start!) the Western Cape is literally ‘blooming’ with opportunities to view spectacular flora.
July and August are amongst the best times of year to view the striking Protea and delicate Erica, while August and September (rain dependent!) are when the colourful wild flowers of the West Coast and Namaqualand put on their dazzling displays.
Grab your hiking boots and your camera and head outdoors to enjoy Mother Nature showing off!
Here are some great places to visit and stay.
The ultimate luxury eco-reserve, Grootbos is truly spectacular. Its 2500 hectares are home to 791 recorded plant species – 6 of which were newly discovered here and 100 of which are endangered. Take a 4x4 flower safari with a highly passionate and expert field guide who will open your eyes to the magical world of Fynbos on the reserve including the unique pink blossoms of the Erica irregularis found nowhere else in the world. Expect luxury accommodation, sublime fine dining and a variety of eco experiences from harvesting honey to horseback riding and whale watching. Read more about Grootbos here
Stay in one of five spacious self-catering cottages on the Fynbos covered slopes of the Klein River Mountains outside Stanford. Explore the reserve at your leisure on one of the demarcated hiking trails, or opt for a guided hike with an expert guide. Expect sweeping views, diverse plant life, rock pools and waterfalls and a cave with the only rock art on the Cape Whale Coast. Just outside Stanford and less than 30 minutes from Hermanus.
Also in the Overberg
In the heart of the West Coast National Park and a stone’s throw from the beautiful Langebaan lagoon, Duinepos offers 11 comfortably equipped self catering chalets. Surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna of the park, the chalets are a haven for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers and are the best place to be in flower season – particularly when the Postberg section of the park is open in August and September. The flowers will literally be on your doorstep. Expect loads of fresh air, starry nights and the sounds of nature. Plus, you’ll have the park to yourself once day visitors have left the park for the day (7am – 7pm from September to March and 7am-6pm April – August). The West Coast National Park is operated by SanParks and entry fees apply.
Escape to the oasis that is Enjo Nature Farm – approximately 50km’s outside Clanwilliam on the banks of the Biedouw River. Rustic cottages sleeping between 2 and 6, plus campsites offer a choice of accommodation. In flower season, the farm erupts in colourful masses of wild flowers. Expect star gazing, hiking, swimming, mountain biking and no cell-phones!
Well known for its striking beauty and the colourful wild flowers that transform the landscape in spring, a visit to Namaqualand is on many travellers bucket lists. The Agama Tented Camp lies in the heart of an 8 000 ha farm, 20 km north from Garies, in the very heart of Namaqualand and is skilfully hidden in a secluded “kloof”. The camp can accommodate a maximum of 14 guests so expect privacy, seclusion and a bush tent experience with breakfast and dinner included. No children under 12.
Also in the West Coast Region & Namaqualand