Everything You Need To Know About Flower Season In Cape Town
Time to stop and smell the glorious Cape wildflowers! Flower season is one of our absolute favorite times of year in the Western Cape. It’s the time when the beautiful and vibrant Cape Town comes to life as glorious bursts of Cape wildflowers cover the Western Cape landscapes in a wonderful celebration of bold, bright, and beautiful colors. To make it even better, as the West Coast bursts into bloom, it brings with it the promise of spring and warm summer days!
**Make sure you check out our ‘Flower Season in Cape Town: The Official Guide’ blog & our ‘Where To See The Wildflowers In The Cape‘ blog to find out EVERYTHING you need to know about the array of Cape wildflower hotspots and floral gems you ABSOLUTELY have to add to your Mother City flower season bucket-list!**
When to see the Cape wildflowers?
Every year from early August through to the end of September – and sometimes longer depending on the amount of rainfall each year – carpets upon carpets of colourful wildflowers come to life, covering the Western Cape landscapes, stretching far beyond what the eye can see.
However, every now and then, the Cape florals take on a life of their own, sprouting seemingly overnight and popping up here, there, and everywhere, transforming the dry, lackluster scrub into a vibrant palette and glorious masterpiece that only Mother Nature herself could have created.
Don’t be a late bloomer! As Cape Town’s flower season is so short lived, timing is everything when it comes to witnessing this extraordinary natural phenomenon first-hand – Every single second counts – So you better make the most of it!
- Best time to see the Cape wildflowers in full bloom: While this may vary depending on a range of factors, on average, the best time to see the Western Cape wildflowers is between mid-August and mid-September as this is when they typically reach their peak. However, if you’re lucky, there may be viewing opportunities at the beginning of August, right until the end of September.
- Best time of the day to see the Western Cape wildflowers: Without the rays, you won’t be able to gaze. When deciding what time of day to enjoy a flower-viewing adventure, its important to keep in mind that flowers only bloom and open up fully under the sun / on sunny days. This means its best to avoid gloomy, cloudy, overcast days. With regards to timing, flowers are at their absolute best when the sun is at its highest; in general, it’s best to aim for anytime between 10.30am and 3.30pm.
**Insider tip: The Cape flower season is one of the most popular times of year in Cape Town among locals and tourists alike. In fact, it may just be the MOST popular. As a result, it is vital that you arrive early enough to ensure you avoid the extremely large crowds (no, we’re actually not over exaggerating) and incredibly long queues (the queues can get so long that people end up spending multiple hours waiting in line). Trust us, you want to avoid this at all costs!
This time of year is also a lovely time to visit Cape Town and surrounds as the first hints of Spring fill the Cape Town air.
Where to see the Cape wildflowers / Our favourite places to see the Cape wildflowers in full bloom
During the few precious spring weeks, the West Coast National Park, just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, is definitely one of the very best places / destinations to see the Cape wildflowers in full bloom as they cover the vast landscapes of the park in a glorious abundance of wildflowers and various stunning species of budding and blossoming beauties. You can choose to enjoy a self-drive West Coast National Park wildflower adventure, explore the incredible beauty of the park by going on an exciting hike or walk on one of their many trails along the coastline (permits required).
The Postberg Flower Reserve section of the West Coast National Park exhibits the wonders of the flower season splendidly. Postberg is without a doubt one of the most popular and highly sought-after wildflower-viewing destinations in the Western Cape. The Postberg section of the park is open to the public from 1 August to 30 September from 9am – 5pm daily (slightly different to the West Coast National Park’s normal opening hours). In addition to admiring the sheer floral beauty that surrounds you at every twist and turn, it’s a great idea to take a picnic basket along and make use of the amazing array of picnic spots uniquely located / spread around the park. Or, if picnicking isn’t quite your style, feel free to pop into their incredible restaurant.
West Coast National Park Rates & Tariffs / Daily Conservation Fee:
|Daily Conservation Fees for 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023|
|Outside Flower Season|
|South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)||R70 per adult, per day
R35 per child, per day
|SADC Nationals (with passport)||R110 per adult, per day
R55 per child, per day
|Standard Conservation Fee (International Visitors)||R110 per adult, per day
R55 per child, per day
|In Flower Season (August & September)|
|South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)||R104 per adult, per day
R52 per child, per day
|SADC Nationals (with passport)||R160 per adult, per day
R80 per child, per day
|Standard Conservation Fee||R234 per adult, per day
R117 per child, per day
Other amazing places to view the Cape’s Spring Wildflowers:
- Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
- The Renosterveld Reserve
- Tienie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve
- Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens
- Namaqualand National Park
- Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens
- Ramskop Nature Reserve
- Cape Columbine Nature Reserve
- Agulhas National Park
- Bontebok National Park
- Fernkloof Nature Reserve
- Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens
- Elgin Open Garden
- The Cederberg
- Swartland to the Overberg and Southern Cape (Swellendam)
- Blaauwberg Nature Reserve
- Tankwa Karoo National Park
- Bracken Nature Reserve
The Western Cape boasts several amazing wildflower shows to celebrate the coming of spring and its varied flora. Many of these offer floral displays, a variety of workshops, cafés, and indigenous landscaped gardens, showing off the vibrant flowers that bloom at this time of year. You can see these sensational spring Western Cape wildflower collections at the following flower shows:
- Hermanus Flower Festival
- Caledon Wildflower Show
- Hopefield Fynbos Show (typically takes place at the end of August
- Clanwilliam Flower Festival
- Darling Wildflower Show (third weekend of September)
- The Bergrivier Flower Affair
Check out our ‘Where To See The Wildflowers In Cape Town‘ blog & our ‘Flower Season in Cape Town: The Official Guide’ blog to find out everything you need to know about the array of Cape wildflower hotspots and floral gems you ABSOLUTELY have to add to your flower season in Cape Town bucket-list!
Tips for experiencing Cape wildflower season to the maximum
- Since the flowers tend to disappear as suddenly as they sprouted, it’s crucial that you plan your trip carefully, paying close attention to when the first winter rains are predicted to fall. Generally, the flowers begin to bloom in the north, starting in Namaqualand, and occasionally as early as late July. From there, they spread like fire along the west coast until they reach Yzerfontein and Darling by late August/beginning of September.
- If you’re going to be visiting the southern regions in search of wildflowers, keep up to date with the local temperatures leading up to your holiday. The flowers don’t cope well in warmer weather, so if the days heat up too quickly, they won’t last nearly as long as they would if the cooler temperatures stuck around until the start of October.
- It’s also vital that you book your trip well in advance to avoid disappointment. The good news is that, due to COVID, many travel suppliers are offering a greater level of flexibility when it comes to changing bookings. So, if the weather in the area isn’t behaving as predicted, you can move your visit slightly forward or back to ensure that you don’t miss the stunning floral display when it finally presents itself.
- It’s becoming pretty clear that Cape wildflower season is all about timing, and that goes for the time of the day that you go flower viewing, too! Most will agree that the flowers look their best either in the late morning (10 am – 11 am) or the late afternoon (3 pm – 5 pm).
- Remember, while you’re welcome to hop out of your vehicle and walk amongst the blooms to fully appreciate them up close, please do not pick them. Rather leave them where they are for others to enjoy just as much as you have!