Spring in South Africa – especially along the Western and Northern Capes, is something special: Flowers bloom all across arid areas that are barren desserts for the rest of the year. Of course, being in the southern hemisphere, spring hits in July or August, but these flower blooms may continue well into September, depending on the weather that particular year. This is a great time to drive around the flower-rich terrain of South Africa, and also a great time to go hiking or mountain biking through these flower laden routes.
Due to extremely inconsistent rainfall throughout the year, the region hardly receives much overall rainfall throughout the year. However, during the winter months between May and July, the region receives it’s largest consistent quota of rainfall in the year. And as soon as the warmer spring air arrives, this creates optimal conditions for the wonderful multicoloured flowers to bloom on top of the otherwise colourless landscape. Nearly 4,000 different species of flowers bloom here, with 1,000 of those to be found nowhere else on the planet.
Located between the border of Free State and Gauteng, it was named such because of the plethora of cosmos flowers which bloom here, which transform the land scape here every summer into a multicoloured carpet of pink, purple and white. Cosmos Country is also known for it’s lively farming towns and markets scattered throughout the region, making it a prime spot to get a couple of jars of things like home made jams or handicrafts, a perfect memento of your time in the area.
For the true flower lover, The Darling District couldn’t be better to catch spring flowers of the region in their fully glory. Between August and September is best to catch the blossoms of various flowers from daisies to purple skilpadblomme. There’s even a regional flower show to really help show off The Darling District’s claim to fame – The Darling Wildflower Show which is held in mid-September. The show is for flower lovers of all ages, with stalls selling all kinds of goodies and tractor rides. The region of Darling is additionally well-equipped for visitors to extend their stay, with a few restaurants, pubs and accommodation options, this is one place you won’t want to miss.
Known for more than just the flowers that bloom here (particularly in late August), the Tankwa Karoo National Park is a perfect place to catch some early blossoms. The fields of the area come to life under a carpet of bright yellow flowers through to the end of August, making mid to late August the prime time to visit. The best part about this is that as a picturesque park with more to see than the flowers, it will be a great day out for visitors of all ages.
Near to Kamieskroon, a popular town that visitors flock to in the summer months is the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve. As part of the Namaqua National Park, it makes for a great day out for flower lovers, with colours consistent through the year due to the rain from the west coast and close proximity to the other parts of Namaqua. The Skilpad area is also used as grazing grounds for sheep, providing stark contrast of white coats against the riotous carpet of wildflower colour. Alongside the flowers you also have some fantastic rock formations, which adds to the picturesque nature of the area.
Clanwilliam is perhaps the most talked about and most visited region to catch wildflowers in all their colourful glory. Featuring one of the most popular flower shows in South Africa, they do a huge amount for raising awareness of conservation issues in the area. With educational aspects to the show such as how to grow flowers, how they grow alongside a special dark room to show visitors the secret markings flowers have, the Clanwilliam area and Clanwilliam flower show are huge attractions for a number of visitors year after year. From Clanwilliam you can also reach other notable wildflower areas such as Klawer, Vredendal and Vanrhynsdorp – all of which feature stunning flowers in late August and throughout September.
Around 200 kilometres from Cape Town, The Cederberg Mountains and Cederberg Wilderness Area boasts a colourful array of beautiful flowers that create a majestic carpet, set against the stunning backdrop of hills, rock formations and lakes. Due to the various topographies of the area the wildflowers stretch not just for miles, but are abundant and decidedly various in species, colour and shape. This makes The Cederberg area an ideal place for anyone who is looking for wildflowers and wildflower viewing, alongside one of the regions most loved wilderness area.
The Pakhuis Conservancy was started by some farmers in the area who took old, unused farmland and turned it into a fantastic area featuring numerous local flower species, along with some great hiking and picturesque viewpoints. This is ultimately a great area for outdoor lovers of all kinds, as with the hiking routes there are also numerous mountainbike routes that are enjoyable especially in the springtime, being lined with the various colours of the flowers in the region. Located on the edge of the Cederberg Wilderness Area, this is a great add-on for any visit to the Cederberg.
Nieuwoudtville and Matjiesfontein Farm are two places with some of the best wildflower displays in the Cape region that are along a route that lines up with Clanwilliam, making them perfect additions to a tour around the area to view the flowers in their spring glory. With Kokerboom Forest also nearby along with the Brandkop Farm, this is probably the best area for flowers in spring. Plan your trip accordingly to line up with the Clanwilliam Flower Show weekend for a floral trip of fantastic proportions.
Conveniently located closet to Cape Town, this is perhaps the best location to catch wildflowers for those who don’t have a lot of time on hand. Also close to the town of Darling, the West Coast National Park is the perfect place for both outdoor and flower lovers, with the opportunity to take advantage of the Postberg Flower Trail, part of the park that’s opened in August and September each year, chiefly for the purpose of enjoying the blossoms of wildflowers.