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Every spring, from August to September/October, the apparently barren soil of the West Coast, from the mountains to the ocean, burts forth in a kaleidoscopic carpet of flowers. Many tourists are drawn to this glorious annual display, and if you decide to follow suit, please bear the following in mind.
The duration of the flower season and the quantity of flowers is determined by the rainfall and the absence of warm berg winds. The flowers turn to face the sun, and therefore are best viewed with the sun at your back. Flowers are in full bloom between 11:00 and 15:00, on sunny days.
Making use of the South African Wild Flower Guide 7, by John Manning and Peter Goldblatt, will be a gretat help in identifying the myriad species to be seen.
Never remove plants, bulbs or flowers from the veld... it is illegal to do so. Maps of the flower routes are available from the information offices. During the flower season, overnight accommodation should be booked in advance.
Finding the flowers
Cape Town (R27) Waylands – turn off to Mamre (R307) – head for Darling (Contreber-Waylands-Oudepost-Tienie Versveld Private Wildflower Reserves) – then via the R315 to Yzerfontein – north along the R27 to the West Coast National Park and between August and September, Postberg.
Cape Town – along the R27 – Rondeberg Nature Reserve – turn off to the West Coast National Park – head for Langebaan – then northwards via the back road to Saldanha (SAS Saldanha Nature Reserve, Hoedjieskoppie Nature Reserve) – Jacobsbaai.
Cape Town – along the R27 – turn off to Saldanha (R79) ( SAS Saldanha Nature Reserve, Hoedjieskoppie Nature Reserve) – Jacobsbaai – then via Vredenburg to Paternoster (Columbine Nature Reserve) – head to St Helena Bay/Stompneusbaai via the dirt road – then north towards Velddrif (Rocher Pan Nature Reserve) via the R234 to Hopefield.