The Best Places to View the Cape’s Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers 2023

Stop and smell.

For a few precious weeks each year – from early August until end-September – the fields, farms, wetlands and dunes of the the Western Cape burst into a magnificent riot of colour as the wildflowers come into bloom. It’s a short-lived period, during which bloomers and boomers, Gen Xers and Zs hop into their preferred modes of transport to come and witness the wonder of the West Coast’s wildflowers..

We’re not joking when we say “Blink and you’ll miss it”; because before you know it, the fields have turned brownish-grey again and the floral splendour is over for another year.

If you’re keen to make hay while the sun shines and get gazing at nature’s magnificent plan, here is our pick of floral hotspots for prime viewing this spring.

Have you been to see the flowers yet? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Postberg and West Coast National Park

Spring Flowers: West Coast

Only open during springtime, Postberg is an almost completely undisturbed floral landscape in the West Coast National Park, open 9am and 5pm during August and September (peak flower months).
Distance from Cape Town Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
Floral expectations Daisies, sporries and magriets.
Closest town Langebaan
Where to stay Whaler’s Way in Churchhaven, which has a veranda right on the sandy shore and an obligatory hammock!
Where to eat Die Strandloper in Langebaan.
Fun fact Eve’s Trail is a two-and-a-half-day hike through the park that traces the unmistakable human footfalls (in rock that was formerly sea sand) that are said to have belonged to a young woman who lived 117 000 years ago.
Entry During flower season, August – September 2023:
R104 (SA citizens and residents with ID)
R52 (children 2 – 11 years)
R160 (SADC nationals with valid passports)
R80 (SADC children with valid passports)
R234 (international adults; standard conservation fee)
R117 (international children; standard conservation fee)
Contact 022 772 2144

Ramskop Nature Reserve

Spring Flowers: Ramskop

This reserve is well worth a visit, with the Cederberg mountains and orange groves as its backdrop.
Distance from Cape Town Around 2 hours and 30 minutes
Floral expectations Daisies, sporries, sugarbos and proteas.
Closest town Clanwilliam
Where to stay Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge
Where to eat Veldskoendraai
Entry R38 (adults)
R27 (pensioners)
R14 (children)
Free (children under 10 years)
Contact 027 482 8000

The Renosterveld Reserve

Spring Flowers: Renosterveld Reserve

Just above Darling Primary School lies this charming 20-hectare flower reserve, where travellers can enjoy a plethora of spring flowers, as well bird-watching. Oh, and keep a keen eye out for the red-bellied tortoises.
Distance from Cape Town Around 1 hour
Floral expectations a variety of renosterbos, bellendini, kapokbos and vygies.
Closest town Darling
Where to stay Darling Lodge Guesthouse
Where to eat 1910 The Old Forge
Fun fact The above vegetation is what used to cover the crop fields and vineyards before they were cleared for agricultural activities.
Entry Free

Citrusdal

Spring Flowers: Citrusdal

Found on the N7, this is a family-favourite holiday spot for its hiking, camping, zip-lining and rock-climbing opportunities.
Distance from Cape Town Around 2 hours
Floral expectations Fields of maartblom, bloedblom, daises and fynbos
Closest town Citrusdal
Where to stay Cederkloof Botanical Retreat
Where to eat Salome’s Grapevine Coffee Shop
Fun Fact Citrusdal is famous for its hot springs, which according to legend, were created when a mighty ox named Kolberg stamped his hoof in the location where The Baths Hot Springs resort now lies (one of the resorts’ baths is named Kolberg in honour of the mythical ox).
Entry Free

Tienie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve

Spring Flowers 2022: Tienie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve
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Another stop along the R315, this reserve hosts a wide variety of flowers due to its varying topography. On this small patch of land, around 10% of the Cape Floral Kingdom can be found.
Distance from Cape Town Around 1 hour and 10 minutes
Floral expectations Butterfly lilies, lachenalia, chincherinchee and bulbs.
Closest town Darling
Where to stay !Khwa ttu Guest Houses and Bush Camp
Where to eat Rosemead Artisan Bakery in nearby Yzerfontein
Fun fact Marthinus Versfeld (also known as Oom Tienie) donated a portion of his farm to SANBI for the reserve.
Entry Free
Contact 022 492 3361

Columbine Nature Reserve

Spring Flowers 2022: Columbine Nature Reserve
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A relatively short way along the R27, this reserve offers candidly beautiful views of the spring flowers, as well as whale- and dolphin-spotting opportunities.
Distance from Cape Town Around 2 hours
Floral expectations An array of fynbos and Karoo succulents.
Closest town Paternoster
Where to stay Gonana Guesthouse
Where to eat Wolfgat
Other stuff to do and see Hiking, cycling, kayaking, nature walks, picnics and game-spotting.
Fun fact It is named after the last manually controlled lighthouse built in South Africa.
Entry R29 (adults)
R20 (children)
Contact 022 7522 718

Harold Porter Botanical Garden

Spring Flowers Harold Porter

Distance from Cape Town Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
Floral expectations From proteas to daisies and orchids, this garden has it all – indigenously speaking, of course.
Closest town Betty’s Bay
Where to stay Pringle Bay Villa or Restio River House
Where to eat Bistro 365
Fun fact The zigzag paths and the waterfall trail, still in use today, were marked out by Harold Porter himself.
Entry R50 (adults)
R30 (students)
R40 (pensioners)
R20 (children 7 – 18 years)
R45 (Botanical Society members)
Contact 028 272 9311, Harold.Porter.NBG@sanbi.org.za

Fernkloof Nature Reserve

Spring Flowers: Fernkloof

Distance from Cape Town Around 1 hour and 50 minutes
Floral expectations A2 variety of fynbos– proteas, ericas, bulbs and orchids.
Closest town Hermanus
Where to stayThe Guardian
Where to eat Bientang’s Cave
Fun fact The Fernkloof Nature Reserve comprises 0.002% of the Cape Floral Kingdom but contains 18% of its plants in just 18 square kilometres.
Entry Free (donations welcome)
Contact 028 313 0819

Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens

Spring Flowers: Karoo Desert

This unique 154-hectare garden lies at the foot of the Hex River Mountain range in Worcester, and boasts 143 hectares of natural vegetation (of which only 11 hectares has been cultivated). During spring, the annuals and vygies come to life, creating a beautiful tapestry of vibrant colours that can be enjoyed while exploring the cultivated section.
Distance from Cape Town Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
Floral expectations succulents, annuals and vygies.
Closest town Worcester
Where to stay Eikehof Farm
Where to eat Cafe Hugo
Fun fact Because of a lack of water and the re-routing of the national road, the garden moved from Matjiesfontein to Worcester in 1945.
Entry R50 (adults)
R20 (students)
R40 (pensioners)
R15 (children/scholars)
R45 (Botanical Society members)
Contact 023 342 1298, Karoo-Desert-NBG@sanbi.org.za

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Spring Flowers 2022: Kirstenbosch

No plans to travel up the coast to flower-gaze? Fear not, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a thing of beauty between August and September, when the spring flowers are in bloom. This 36-hectare garden on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain needs no introduction, as it has one of the most impressive expanses of flowers found so close to the city centre.
Distance from the city centre Around 20 minutes
Floral expectations Daisies, fynbos and pincushion proteas are just a few of the numerous flowers to be found.
Fun fact It is the first botanic garden in the world dedicated to indigenous flora.
Entry R100 (SA adults and SADC nationals with ID)
R220 (standard, adults)
R60 (students/learners with a valid card)
R40 (children 6 – 17 years)
R140 (African nationals with ID)
Free (children under 6)
Free (senior citizens with ID on Tuesdays, except public holidays)
Contact 021 799 8782, Kirstenboschinfo@sanbi.org.za
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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 01 August 2023

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