What makes flower season so very special on the West Coast is that for approximately 10 months of the year (give or take) we see very little colour. The surrounding veld is various shades of grey/brown/beige and maybe dark green and then for a limited time the riotous colours of wild flowers paint the fields and parks all around us and we are charmed! The fact that the season is so short and so fierce makes it all the more precious.
The good news is that because of the extended rainy season (every week or two we have some good rain) the season should last well into September. Don’t forget to look out for new varietals popping up as the rain daisies and gousblom fade.
DARLING WILDFLOWER SHOW
Darling’s veldt is unique in that it consists of a very interesting variety of veldt types including Sandveld, Strandtveld, Renosterveld & Rietveld. Darling contains more than 10% of the total species of Cape floral kingdom in less than 1% of the floral kingdom area.
Name: 99th Darling Wildflower Show
Date & Time: 16 – 18 Sept 2016 – 9am – 5pm
Venue: Darling Golf Club
Admission: Adults R50/Children (U18) R30
Children (U13) free
Pensioners (Friday only) R30
Contact detail: 084 916 1111
GENERAL FLOWER VIEWING TIPS
*Most towns along the flower routes haqve fuel stations, ATM’s and mobile reception
*The further north you travel the greater the distance between the towns become
*Stop and ask the friendly locals for advice on flower hot spots and distances
*Namakwa/West Coast Flower maps are available at all tourism information offices
For more info contact WEST COAST FLOWER HOTLINE 072 938 8186 (Available from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week)
Get the Lastest Flower Updated 22nd August here http://us10.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5e69c29913a45db1a9e1635e4&id=d7de0c6658
BEAUTY OF THE WEEK
WEST COAST NATIONAL PARK
This past weekend myself and a colleague from Stay in Paternoster went to The West Coast National Park in Langebaan. Therefore this week instead of focusing on one beautiful flower I want to tell you about our visit and share some of my pictures from this special place.
There are two entrances to the park and because we knew it would be a busy day we went in the lesser known one from Langebaan side – there are currently road works so depending where you are coming from it may not be a good option as it is closest to Paternoster – it took us about 40mins by car. The main gate is on the R27 West Coast Road about 10 kms from Yzerfontein on your left hand side and is approximately 1 hours drive from Cape Town heading North. You will receive a map of the park when you enter which will direct you to the places of interest. In the case of flower season you will want to head to the Postberg area which is a privately owned piece of land (about 6000 hectares) inside the West Coast national park which is normally not open to the public. Every year however, between August and September the area is opened to the public to visit and marvel at the wonders of nature as it puts on its spectacular wild flower show.
The Postberg shelters the Langebaan lagoon from the sea. It was along this piece of land that the Dutch and the French posted their countries flags in an effort to claim the land for their respective countries way back in the 1600’s. After a number of skirmishes and removing each other’s flags the Dutch finally took control of the area in the early 1700’s. The area became an outpost of the Dutch colony at the Cape and the mountain’s name stems from that, being a mountain outpost.
Saturday was a very busy day due to the perfect weather. I suggest that if you want to picnic or braai (there are two designated areas for this in the Postberg section) go early, set yourself up then relax and walk amongst the flowers! It was very busy and there was some traffic congestion. We took a picnic and nibbles so mostly just snacked in the car while staring wide-eyed at the vast fields of beautiful, bright flowers!
The photos and words do not do this natural spectacle justice…it truly must be experienced. Apart from beautiful views, the abundant flowers and striking rock formations there are also ostriches, zebra, as well as eland, gemsbok, springbok, wildebeest and bontebok.
This season is a bumper one so if you are yearning for a road trip to somewhere beautiful this should be at the top of your list!
The West Coast National Parks website is very extensive and useful https://www.sanparks.org/parks/west_coast/default.php
TEL: 022 772 2144
Entrance Fees:South African Adult Citizens – R64 / Kids under 12 – R32
International Tourist R136 per adult / Kids under 12 – R68
Open Week: 12 – 16 September FREE entry for South African Citizens!!
(Bring ID Book)
The weather changes all the time, especially along the coast, so please check for an update on https://www.yr.no/place/South_Africa/Western_Cape/Paternoster/long.html
FRIDAY 26th August 11:00 to 16:00 Sunny 14⁰c
SAT 27th August 11:00 to 16:00 Sunny 18⁰c
SUN 28th August 11:00 to 16:00 Cloudy 13⁰c
MON 29th August 11:00 to 16:00 Sunny 16⁰c
TUES 30th August 11:00 to 16:00 Sunny 15⁰c
WEDS 31st August 11:00 to 16:00 Rain 16⁰c
THURS 1st September 11:00 to 16:00 Cloudy 13⁰c
MAP of WEST COAST FLOWER COUNTRY
Download and print this useful map courtesy of Cape West Coast Tourism website.
A SPECIAL GIVE-AWAY
Map Studio are publishing a stunning Visitors Guide to the Flower Region and I have one one more copy to give away for Flower Friday!
To qualify please send an email to email@example.com and tell me which edible flower was featured on last weeks blog post http://wp.me/p7EPrM-2E! Subject line should be I ♥ Flower Friday…Make sure to include your Postal address so I can arrange to send you the book if you win!
If you require Accommodation on your Flower Safari please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel : 022 752 2048 (Office Hours) OR book online at https://www.stayinpaternoster.co.za/
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” ― Hans Christian Andersen
Blog post compiled and written by Fran Hepburn for Stay in Paternoster