Cape Town - It’s peak flower season at the West Coast National Park and visitors are flocking in their droves to see the spectacular blaze of colour which will only last another two to three weeks.
Despite the crippling drought the spring flowers are at their glorious best. From white rain daisies and orange gousblomme, to the bluish purple sporries and yellow surings, the veld is carpeted in wildflowers.
Pierre Nel, the acting park manager, said the display was better than last year.
“We actually had about 50mm more rain this year than last year and at the right time. If it rains too much the grass smothers the flowers.” A cold winter also helped, he said.
The best place to see the flowers is in Postberg, a section of the West Coast National Park, which is only open during flower season in August and September.
Section ranger Carmen Gagiano jokes that the flowers sometimes made people lose their minds. “They want to lie in the flowers and love to frolic in them with their children. But we have to be careful they don’t trample them.”
Sure enough as we drive into the Postberg section there is a man in shorts and boots doing a little dance among the flowers while his wife is taking pictures.
On Thursday, even though it was a week day the park was packed - with cars pulling off the road and passengers spilling out to capture the kaleidoscope. There were also eland and Cape grysbok grazing among the fields of flowers.
Gagiano said last Saturday was the park’s third busiest weekend. She said this year, there was a lot more variety and more colours.
Postberg is privately owned, but managed by SANparks who also look after the game. “The agreement is that we can open it up for two months every year, but manage it all year round,” Gagiano said.
It is owned by about 50 shareholders most of whom use it as a holiday destination. Nel said Postberg was a unique place.
“It’s also very reliable for flowers. Some people travel up to Namaqualand but don’t always know what to expect. Here you will always get a good display.”