By Esmarie Kitshoff from Shift ONE
A Flowery Feast on the West Coast
Once a year, Mother Nature shows off just a little when she turns stretches of dry, grey scrubs into an endless display of vivid colour along the West Coast. Nature lovers travel from far and wide to behold this beautiful sight, which to a lucky few of us, is a mere one or two hours’ drive away.
After heavy winter downpour, thousands of flower plant species burst into bloom in bold shades of yellow, pink, orange, purple and white to create a truly unique canvas of colour. If you’re keen to catch a glimpse of the West Coast’s indigenous daisies and salvias, it’s recommended you plan your flower-viewing excursion around the start of spring in September.
If it’s your first expedition, keep in mind that flowers always face the sun, so if you travel in a southerly direction with the sun behind you, you’ll enjoy an optimum vantage point. The flowers are best viewed between 10:30am and 4:00pm, so you’ll have plenty of time to take a leisurely drive along the coastal strip. Keep in mind though that the flowers won’t come out in rainy or heavily overcast conditions. If you’re unsure, contact the West Coast Flower Line and they will be able to tell you if you should buckle up or stay at home: 071 320-7146.
If you’re planning on doing more than just a daytrip, a great place to stay would be in the heart of the West Coast with the Atlantic on your doorstep. The Blue Bay Lodge in Saldanha is not only a quick 30-minute drive from the fynbos-rich West Coast National Park, but its knowledgeable staff will also be able to give you valuable information on the local flowers and direct you to the best viewing spots. For more information about Blue Bay Lodge, email [email protected] or contact 022 714-1177/8/9.