September- it’s that time again! Time to let your hair down and, most importantly, time to stop and smell the wildflowers. Bloom hunting season begins in South Africa and sees people chasing blossoms all over the Western Cape. Every second counts and timing is vital when it comes to catching this natural phenomenon, so have your cameras at the ready to capture the magic of springtime’s floral blankets- nope, I’m not pollen your leg. Embrace your inner flower-power, and use our bloom-hunting guide to find out all you need to know:
Our favourite place for bloom bashing:
During the few precious spring weeks, the West Coast National Park, just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, is carpeted with many species of budding and blossoming beauties. Enjoy a self drive through the park, or embark on hikes and walks on the many trails along the coastline (permits required). The Postberg Flower Reserve section of the park, in particular, exhibits the wonders of the flower season splendidly. Take a basket along, and make use of picnic spots spread uniquely around the park, or pop into their restaurant.
Timing is key:
Don’t be a late bloomer. With spring beginning in September, the best chance to see the flowers is towards the end of August and mid September. However there may be viewing opportunities at the beginning of August, and right until the end of September. If you snooze, you loose and in this case, if its already summer, that’s a real bummer.
Flowers are cold-blooded:
Without the rays, you won’t be able to gaze. Just as we tend to hide inside on a cloudy day, so the flowers tend to do the same. The flowers only beautifully open fully on sunny days. The best time of day is when the sun is at its highest, and so this is around 10:30 am until 3:30 in the afternoon. However, its best to arrive early to avoid the queues.
Wandering through Wildlife:
Not only are the flowers attracting you, but other quirky creatures too. View countless birds, antelope, bat eared foxes, honey badgers, mongooses, tortoises, mountain zebra, aardvark, black-backed jackal and insects in the parks. You might even have a sea view, marvel at whales and dolphins which frequent these coasts.
The Western Cape also have many wildflower shows celebrating the coming of spring and its varied flora. Many of these offer floral displays, a variety of workshops, cafes and indigenous landscaped gardens showing off the vibrant flowers that bloom at this time of year. You can see these flora collections at the following flower shows:
- Hermanus Flower Festival
- Caledon Wildflower Show
- Hopefield Fynbos Show
- Clanwilliam Flower Festival
- Darling Wildflower Show
- Elgin Rose and Garden Festival
Our favourite places to stay in the West Coast:
- Bushmans Kloof
- Paternoster Dunes Boutique Guesthouse
- The White House
- Clanwilliam Lodge
- ah! Guesthouse
Time to see the flowers! You can’t blooming miss it.