It is said that the flowers of the Cape West Coast, in South Africa, are strong enough to stop a car. And it is true, for every year, thousands of visitors to this unique part of the word gasp in amazement at the spectacular beauty of countless flowers seemingly arranged for the exclusive viewing pleasure of those who went to the trouble getting there.
The colour palettes vary depending on area and season. On any given day you might find yourself surrounded by vast patches of purple dotted with yellow, or a canvas of orange with white speckles. Flower names range from Daisies to Sambreeltjies (umbrellas) to Feëklokkies (Fairy Bells).
As a biodiverse region the Cape West Coast has few equals. As a natural work of art (in spring) it’s right up there with the Great Barrier Reef and the Northern Lights in Alaska.
A Migration Of Colour
The flowers start to appear as early as July in the northern section known as the Namaqua West Coast. From there they migrate south (a little slower than the Wildebeests in the Serengeti) all the way to Blouberg near Cape Town.
The best places to view flowers up north include the Namaqua National Park near Springbok, and Nieuwoudtville near Vanrhynsdorp. As the spectacle moves south, you can soak up the colours at Biedouw Valley and Ramskop Nature Garden in Clanwilliam. Other great stops include the West Coast National Park at Langebaan and the Flower Reserves around Darling (see the Top 10 places here).
Those aren’t the only hot spots though. To keep track of the flowers, simply call the Flower Hotline (yes, a hotline) on 072 938 8186. First-rate accommodation ranging from B&B’s to guest cottages to rest camps is available at all the stops.
How to look
Catching glimpse of the greatest flower show on earth is not simply a matter of pitching up. There are meticulous details to consider like the time of day and the exact direction you are facing.
The best time for viewing is from 11h00 to 15h00. Known as the extended Flower Power Hour, it’s the hottest time of the day when the flowers are at their best.
And they don’t stand still, either. The flowers follow the sun as it crosses the sky, so for the best view, turn your back to the sun or drive north to south if you are in a car. Position yourself wrong and you’ll miss the show.
Oh yes, and get out of the car for a closer view – some of the most beautiful flowers are also the smallest.
Besides flowers there are…
Well, besides watching flowers there are tons of stuff to do on the Cape West Coast. Go surfing at Elands Bay or birding at one of a number of world-class birding spots. Visit museums, taste wine, dine and much much more.
For a good old-fashioned opskop (colloquial term for a party) visit the Hopefield Fynbos Show from 27 – 30 August, 2015. And don’t miss the spectacular Darling Wildflower Show (18 – 20 Sept.) or the Clanwilliam Flower Show (27 Aug. – 5 Sept.)
The Darling Wildflower show takes place annually over the third weekend in September (18th/19th/20th September 2015) 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. The event includes entry to the Landscaped Hall (depicting the flowers of the area in their natural habitat). A Free ride on a tractor drawn wagon to see the Oude Post Pristine wetland (that is not accessible to the public and can only be seen during the show), a Craft/Farmers Market, Veteran Tractor/Car Display, an Entertainment Tent featuring live music, a large Childrens area, safe and secure parking and many other attractions. There will also be numerous Food and Beverage stalls where you can purchase a variety of food and drinks to take away or use the facilities to relax and enjoy the natural environment.
Contact: Con Meyer +27 (0)84 916 1111 or +27 (0)82 927 6225 | [email protected] | www.darlingwildflowers.co.za
View the Cape West Coast Flower Reports here:
- Wildflower Report 14 September
- Wildflower Report 10 September
- Wildflower Report 27 August
- Wildflower Report 24 August
- Wildflower Report 13 August
- Wildflower Report 6 August
For more information contact West Coast Tourism:
PO Box 242, Moorreesburg 7310
Contact: +27 (0)22 433 8505
Fax: 0866 926113
Email: [email protected]
Web: For more information on the Cape West Coast and to find the latest news on the flowers, visit www.capewestcoast.org
When: Flowers will appear mid August…