Busy busy beeBeing overseas for so long last year (4 months!), I completely missed the spectacular display that comes with spring flower season in the western and northern Cape.

But not this time!  I am planning to visit the beautiful Postberg Reserve once again, and though I probably won’t make it all the way up to Namaqualand this year (danged petrol price being what it is), I am planning a trip up to the Biedouw Valley, near Clanwilliam.

Apparently, the flowers up there are superb, and at the Enjolife Adventure and Nature Farm, which is where I’ll be staying for two glorious nights, there are sections that have not been used for grazing – which means pristine land full of wildflowers.  Yay!

If you haven’t yet made the trip out to the West Coast National Park (of which Postberg is a part), I can highly recommend that you do so this time around.  Whilst every year is different, the flowers I saw there two years ago blew my mind, and the prospect of a sunny day out in the countryside is very appealing indeed.

West Coast MapIf you’re planning to go:

  • It’ll take you about an hour to get there: the main entrance to the park is on your left, about 90km from Cape Town, on the west coast road (R27) before Langebaan.
  • Entrance to the park costs R30 for South Africans, R60 for tourists.   If you have a Cape Cluster Wildcard, it’s free.
  • The Postberg Reserve is a section of the park that is only open to visitors during flower season (August and September).
  • If you’re going during the weekend, get there EARLY.  The queues can be quite staggering and frustrating, and it’d be a pity to have driven out all that way to get only a few moments of flower-gazing.
  • The main gate opens at 7am (until 6.30), and the Postberg section at 9am (closes 5pm).
  • The best viewing times for the flowers are apparently between 11am and 3pm.
  • Keep in mind that flowers turn towards the sun, so it’s best to view them with the sun behind you.

I spoke to the folks at the park yesterday, and was told that the flowers are just starting to come out now, and advised that I give it another week or so before heading out there.

So, by the weekend of the 15th of August, they should, weather permitting, be in full and glorious swing!

Postberg Spring FlowersAdditional flower-hunting reading

There doesn’t seem to be much info on the wild wild web, but here are a few useful links:

Cape flower power‘ – an article on iafrica with tips on where you can go to see the flowers, and what kind you’re likely to see.

South Africa: Wild flowers of the Western Cape‘ – detailed flower information from Travel Africa Magazine Online.  Click the ‘pdf’ icon at top right of the article for the full info (and in an easier to read format).

Darling Wildflower Society – another great place to view the flowers is Darling, and the website has a fair amount of useful and current information.

Clanwilliam Wild Flowers and Cape Fynbos – great resource for the Clanwilliam and Cederberg areas.

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