After a chilly winter, when many of us are tired of the miserable weather, a ray of sunshine breaks through the grey clouds and the first flower buds appear above the ground. From late August to late September, the recently dry and brittle landscape transforms into a kaleidoscope of delicate spring flowers in all shapes and colours.
Here are the places in the Western where you can see nature’s greatest work of art in full display.
West Coast National Park
The West Coast National Park is near enough to Cape Town for Capetonians to appreciate its floral wonder on a day trip. The entire West Coast is magnificent, specifically Postberg if you want to see and smell Mother Nature in all her splendour. For those who enjoy climbing out the car to stretch legs and walk amidst nature, the Postberg Flower Trail will lead you through the section of the West Coast National Park, which is open only in August and September. Besides the colourful flowers, the park is a wonderful getaway all year round, as its home to various animals, such as eland, Cape grysbok, caracal and small unusual rodents. Keep your eyes pinned on the sea while passing through the West Coast National Park, as you may be fortunate enough to spot whales and dolphins passing by.
Clanwilliam is primarily a small farming community blessed with a slow-paced way of life and few shops. Every year, from late August to early September, it hosts a week-long wildflower show where flowers from five different biomes are proudly exhibited. While you’re in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the picturesque botanical gardens and the spectacular Ramskop Wildflower Reserve. Clanwilliam is approximately 230km from Cape Town and it may take about 2h30min to get there depending on the speed at which you travel, the traffic on the N7, and the presence of road works. Not only is the destination captivating, the towns you’ll by-pass are also interesting, so take some time to explore them too. Perhaps you would want to consider staying over at one of the many welcoming guesthouses in the area or nearby the relaxing mineral baths in Citrusdal.
The Cederberg is well worth the drive from Cape Town if you wish to experience the rustic beauty and charm of the Biedouw Valley where the landscape is carpeted with over 200 species of indigenous wild flowers each spring. The Cederberg wilderness has the greatest yield of flowers in one area, which is likely due to the varying topography, such as rocky outcrops to thickets of fynbos bush. Travelling to the Biedouw Valley from Cape Town will take approximately 2h30min along the N7. You will want to overnight here, so you can admire the magnificent sunrise over the Cederberg Mountains in the morning. It’s truly spectacular!
The Darling Wild Flower Festival
Since its inception in 1917, Darling has become the venue of the Wild Flower Festival. On the third weekend of September each year, the Darling Wild Flower Show promises to enchant flower enthusiasts with gorgeous displays of coloured indigenous flowers. There are also craft and food stalls, as well as tractor rides to the normally entry restricted vlei where flowers are on full display. This year, the festival takes place on Friday 18 September to Sunday 20 September.
Tickets will be available for purchase on the days of the festival. Entry for adults cost R50 per person and R30 per child over the age of 14. Children under the age of 13 enter free while pensioners pay R30 per person on the Friday only.
If you’re on holiday in Cape Town in spring-time, this presents the perfect opportunity to explore and appreciate the magic of the flower route by car. Don’t be stuck without transport. Rent a car in Cape Town then embark on your colourful journey.