West Coast District Municipality, Western Cape, South Africa
Attractions close byRocklands Bouldering in the Cederberg Wilderness Area 37km
The Cape West Coast is known for many things - its pristine beaches, quaint seaside towns and rich cultural history among them – but come spring time, it plays host to the greatest flower show on earth as the areas natural wild flowers begin to bloom. Come August/September the West Coast is generally in full bloom and visitors from around the world flock to the region to catch the show.
Here are some of the best spots to view these magnificent flowers in all their glory.
Blaauwberg Nature Reserve
Boasting spectacular views across the cityscape and coastline, including one of the few in the world where you can see two World Heritage Sites, Table Mountain and Robben Island, the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is largely considered to be the official beginning of the Cape West Coast flora route.
Where: Cape Farms, just north of Blaauwberg on the R27 or Otto Du Plessis Drive
Contact: +27 (0)21 554 0957 | +27 (0)21 444 0454 (Eerstesteen Resort)
Darling Renosterveld Reserve
The Darling Renosterveld Reserve is open all year round and is free to all visitors, but the best time to visit is between July and October when the flowers start to bloom.
Tienie Versfeld Wild Flower Reserve
While not large in size, this fantastic reserve is a gem for flower-watchers with large displays of springtime flowers bursting from a wide variety of veld types.
Situated near the Tienie Versfeld Wild Flower Reserve, the Groenekloof Reserve offers a variety of flowers including Hermannia (lanterns-Poproos), Arctotis (daisies), Drossera (Snotroesie), Chlorophytum and Moraeari tripetala (blue).
Waylands Wildflower Reserve
Open to the public during the flower season, the Waylands Wildflower Reserve is home to around 300 species of flowers with fields of Blue Flaks (Heliophila), Ixia and Arums making themselves visible from the roof. The Waylands Wildflower Reserve is part of the critically endangered Lowland Fynbos Biome, of which less than 1% remains.
The reserve contains a seasonally wet, Swartland Granite Renosterveld area of approximately 10 hectares with one of the last populations of a critically endangered orchid species called pteryogodium cruciform.
One of the most visited flower hotspots in the Cape West Coast, the Postberg Flower Reserve is not always open to the public, but this is to make sure it’s as undisturbed as possible until spring, when it truly rewards the wait. Apart from the unbelievable show put on by the flowers, you should also keep an eye out for zebra, wildebeest, antelope, ostrich, mongoose, Rock hyrax, snakes, birds and tortoises.
Opening dates: 1 August – 30 September
Where: West Coast National Park, Langebaan, Cape West Coast
Contact: +27 (0)22 772 2144
Paternoster is one of the most popular villages along the West Coast, well-known for its warm, generous and hospitable people. Come spring, it is also a great place to view the flowers.
Cape Columbine Nature Reserve
Just five minutes from Paternoster, the Cape Columbine Nature reserve is home to an abundance of flora and fauna as well as the last manned lighthouse in South Africa, which was built on Castle Rock in 1936.
Annual Flower Shows
Hopefield Fynbos Show
Surrounded by delicate fynbos and waving green wheat in winter, Hopefield is an historic town on the Cape West Coast. Every August, the popular Hopefield Fynbos Show depicts the breath taking and diverse flora of the region. To see indigenous flora at ground level, walk the Langrietvlei and Helderwater trails on farms near the town.
Where: Hopefield Sports Centre, R45
Contact: +27 (0)22 723 1720
Darling Wildflower Show
The Darling Wildflower show takes place annually over the third weekend in September and celebrates an integral part of the Cape Fynbos Kingdom comprising of Renosterveld, Sandveld and Strandveld where more than 1200 different species of flowers can be found. Apart from the flowers, there is also a wide variety of food stalls and live entertainment to enjoy.