Where to find the best West Coast flowers
Earlier this week I was invited by SANParks to take a trip out to the West Coast National Park, just an hour and a half away from Cape Town to see the famous flowers that burst out of the ground at this time of year. You could trawl along the various roads heading north out of Cape Town in search of these wild flowers but for a guaranteed sighting why not head straight to the Postberg section of the West Coast National Park, which is open for flower season during the months of August & September.
I have been to the West Coast National Park every year for the last five years and I can safely say these are the best flowers I have ever seen both in quantity and variety.
And the Postberg section is not just about the flowers, if you follow the road right to the top you come to the Uitkyk (or ‘Outlook’ for those who don’t understand Afrikaans like me) picnic spot with a spectacular panoramic view over the Langebaan and the beautiful blue lagoon.
It is amazing the appetite one can develop while photographing flowers and we were lucky enough to be treated to lunch at the Geelbek Restaurant. Owner and founder, Elmarie Leonard welcomed us with her usual West Coast charm and she is passionate about serving delicious hand-made dishes. Every month the menu is planned around the ingredients, herbs and fresh produce of the area even picking herbs from the veldt such as wild rosemary for lamb dishes. So while the menu is always changing, whatever you choose is sure to please.
And now my “Top Tips” to make your flower foraging a success.
- To avoid the queue at the gate arrive early or failing that, access the park from the Langebaan side (rather than the main gate off the R27).
- The flowers are best viewed during the sunniest part of the day, so between 10am and 2pm.
- If you want to eat at the Geelbek restaurant (and you should) but want to avoid the lunch rush of tour buses, why not have breakfast on arrival before visiting the flowers and you can always return for a late lunch on your way out.
The weather forecast for this weekend looks good, so put your DIY project on hold, cancel your gym session, move that lunch date and get out of the city for a couple of hours to see the west coast flowers!