Spring is the season for nature lovers in the Western Cape. After being drenched by heavy rain during the winter, endless fields of wild flowers burst into colour from the West Coast National Park to Namaqualand. As a myriad of blossoms greats the vernal sun, nature lovers flock to this charmingly unpretentious area.
Flanked by the icy Atlantic Ocean in the west and the rugged and pristine Cedarberg Mountains to the east, the Cape West Coast is a popular destination for hikers, anglers, surfers, birder and lovers of good food and wine. An hour’s drive north of Cape Town takes to an area that is as unpretentious as it is beautiful and this is particularly true in spring. Whether you stay close to Cape Town or decide to go all out and travel south from Springbok; the colourful bloom will have you on your knees to get the best shot of this natural spectacle.
West Cost Flower Route
The Flower Route stretches from the West Coast National Park by Langebaan to Springbok in the Northern Cape. The main roads of the Flower Route are the West Coast Road (R 27) between Yzerfontein and Velddrif and the N7 from Piketberg to Springbok. It is recommended to travel north to south as the blossoms face the sun. You can do as much of the route as your schedule and budget allows, just make sure that you have enough time to savour this incredible experience.
West Coast National Park
Set around the calm waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, the West Coast National Park is closest place for Capetonians to get a glimpse at the colourful wild flowers. The park protects a diverse birdlife, but come spring the vast carpets of white, yellow, violet and orange blossoms are the star of the show. The park is also great for destination for mountain biking and kite surfing.
The charming town within picturesque farmlands and wine estates is always worth a visit. Darling is also the host of the annual Wildflower Show, which will be held from 16 – 18 September this year. Take a few days to explore the coffee shops and farmstalls, as well as the beautiful meadows, orchards and vineyards.
About 200 km north of Cape Town Clanwilliam is a great base from which to explore the pristine Cedarberg area. The Clanwilliam Dam is popular for water sports, the town centre offers all the necessary shopping and is spring the area is splashed with colourful patches of floral beauty.
Namaqualand in the Northern Cape is a solid 5 hour drive from Cape Town, but the reward is ample. The usually hot and arid land is where the wild flowers are at their most impressive as a harsh landscape is transformed into an impressionist painters fantasy. Springbok is the largest town is the area; from here you can explore the Richtersveld National Park, the Namaqua National Park or even drive to the Orange River which forms South Africa’s northern border.