The spring flowers in the Western Cape are blooming
The spring flowers in the Western Cape are blooming marvellous and you’ll not want to miss the show that these budding beauties put on for two months each year.
As this guide published by Cape Town Magazine highlights, you don’t have to go far afield from the Mother City to stop and smell the flowers. While you can make the seven-hour journey north to Namaqualand, the flowers do “spring forth in thick braids of colour from the sandy slopes and rocky sandstone flats of the West Coast National Park, and they throw back their vibrant heads, carpeting 30,000 hectares of veld in shocks of white and yellow” in the Tankwa Karoo National Park.
Where to go
The West Coast National Park is just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and you can witness this seasonal tapestry of colour in the Postberg section of the park, which is only open to the public from August to September. Before you reach this section, it’s worth taking a moment - or even diving into a picnic basket - at the Kraalbaai, Preekstoel and Uitkyk picnic areas, which all have spectacular views.
It may be hard to tear your focus away from the spring flower spectacle, but try to also keep an eye out for whales and dolphins splashing in the ocean yonder, or honey badgers, bat-eared foxes and mongooses darting through the flowers.
If you’re happy to venture a bit further from Cape Town, a four-hour drive will lead you to treading lightly on carpets of yellow and white in the western section of the Tankwa Karoo. Once you’ve finished frolicking in the flowers, then head to the Roggeveld Escarpment to be dazzled by the purple, pink, red and orange hues.
Mountain zebra, aardvark, kudu and black-backed jackal call the Tankwa Karoo home, so you stand a chance of meeting one of these residents while walking in the park. If you’re a twitcher at heart, you may also be keen to tick off some of the park’s 18 endemic bird species off your list.
When to go
The spring flowers are usually at their most magnificent from mid-August to mid-September, although the season is considered to run throughout the whole of these two months.
The flowers are like many sun-worshippers in that they prefer to come out to play between 10.30am and 3.30pm on sunny days, but it’s worth getting to the parks early to avoid any queues. This isn’t an activity for a cloudy day, so be ready to adapt your plans accordingly if you really want to see the buds at their best.
Contact Elite Travel Concept to organise a spring flower tour or include a walking trail through either of these national parks in your luxury travel itinerary.