Go see the spring flowers of The West Coast

I love my Johannesburg, and right now we are experiencing summer temperatures that are very welcome after the cold winter. However, I wish I could visit Cape Town, or rather the West Coast, now…

weast coast flowers 3

Between July/August and September/October each year this part of South Africa explodes. The first spring rain falls and turns the dry and rather barren landscape into a display of bright colours when the ground becomes covered in flowers of thousands of species.

It is impossible to predict exactly when this annual flower parade will occur, but the safest bet is probably from August to September. The key is of course the arrival of the first rains, but the temperature is also important and the flowers will only open up until later in the morning and hardly at all on cloudy days.

The Namaqualand region is located in the northern part of the west coast and is divided into two parts either side of the Orange River – Greater Namaqualand in Namibia and Little Namaqualand in South Africa. It’s in this region that the flowers of west coast reaches its full strength.

But you don’t have to travel all the way up there to experience this magical spectacle. Spring flowers are abound from Darling and Yzerfontein up to the West Coast National Park, so if you are visiting Cape Town during this period – take a day to visit this beautiful area.

Before you dash off on your way, I advise you to call Flower Line on +27 (0)71 320 7146 in order to find out which area has the best show of the day.

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South Africa’s winelands

One of our favorite areas of ​​South Africa (yes, there are many of them!) is the winelands in the Western Cape, they have so much to offer. Picturesque vineyards, restored farms in Cape Dutch style, excellent wine routes, fynbos and majestic mountain ranges as a backdrop, the list goes on… Many of the towns and villages in the winelands have historical buildings and monuments that tell of the area’s rich history, and during a visit you will experience so much more than just wine.

Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia

South Africa also has its very own grape variety, Pinotage, which was created in 1924 when Professor Abraham Izak Perold crossed the two varieties Pinot Noir and Cinsault. The latter was called at the time the Hermitage in South Africa, which explains the name Pinotage. However, it took many years before Pinotage received the attention it deserves, the international breakthrough came in 1989.

Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek

Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek

How much time you spend in the area, depends a lot on how interested you are – or how much you like – wine 🙂 You can choose to visit the winelands during the day with your base in Cape Town – within a radius of 100 km there is so much to see and do.

Beautiful house in Cape Dutch style

Beautiful house in Cape Dutch style

If you want to concentrate on a smaller area, make your way to charming Stellenbosch, which is considered to produce the best range of wines with hundreds of vineyards, or Franschhoek, located in one of the world’s most beautiful wine valleys. Both are within a short driving distance from each other through the beautiful Helshoogte Pass.

Harvest time at Ormonde in Darling

Harvest time at Ormonde in Darling

You can also stay at one of the many beautiful guesthouses available here and also enjoy really good food. Franschhoek is such as South Africa’s “food and wine capital” – many of the country’s hundred best restaurants are here!

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Beautiful mountains as backdrop

You can also choose to have any of the winefarms as a base. Then you’ll stay at a winery where wine is produced and work is ongoing every day. They come in size large, as for example Spier, to size small as our favorite Temple Wines. Prices vary quite a bit…

Môreson outside of Franschhoek

Môreson outside of Franschhoek

For those of you who don’t want to be self-driving, there are excellent guided tours, both as full-day and half-day options, which provides transportation (even to and from Cape Town) in air-conditioned minibuses, wine tastings, cellar tours and time to discover areas on their own and much more.

Neethlingshof

Neethlingshof

Usually, when people talk about the winelands in South Africa, it is the areas around Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek that brought to mind. But there are so many other wine routes that all offer high-quality South African wines and beautiful scenery.

Boschendal

Boschendal

Please read more about all the wine regions in South Africa on our website Destination South Africa.

Meet crazy Tong from China

On a bench at Africa’s most southerly point, Cape Agulhas, we met Tong. Three years ago Tong quit his job as a computer engineer in China, hopped on his bike and left. We’re not qute sure which route he took to get there, but during the last year he has cycled through Africa, from Egypt to South Africa. So there he sat preparing some food.

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And now that he’s come as far south as he can, he’ll cycle along the Garden Route and then …well, Europe maybe … 🙂

It’s very cool to just leave like that and live your dreams, but surely one has to be a little crazy. Right?

Have anyone else met or seen Tong along his travels? Please leave a comment and keep us posted!

Cape Aghulas is by the way a very nice destination for a day trip and one of the places in South Africa you need to go to get that classic photo. And it’s kind of fun to say that you have been to Africa’s southernmost point. If you want you can pay R24 to get up into the lighthouse, it’s probably a beautiful view from there, but we chose to stay on the ground since we were in a bit of a hurry.

L’Agulhas is the small fishing village with beautiful fishing boats in the harbour, just north of the cape, and this is Africa’s southernmost village.