Namaqualand daisies. Picture: Alice Notten
Namaqualand daisies. Picture: Alice Notten

It’s flower season. A list of quaint little towns to visit and enjoy the spring blossoms

By Gerry Cupido Time of article published Aug 3, 2021

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If you take a drive along the West Coast today, you’ll already see that a few daisies have already started making their colourful appearances.

The spectacular floral display put on by mother nature has become world renown and annually draws flower lovers to the Cape west coast and Namaqualand areas.

Flowers of Namaqualand Park. Picture: Supplied

After the recent bumper rainfall in these areas, this year’s flower season promises to be one of the best ever.

What better way to relieve lockdown cabin fever!

Flower lovers often flock to Posberg Nature Reserve and the Namaqua National Park but if you’re looking to enjoy the magnificent blooms, here are other, less crowded spots to visit.

A francolin among the daisies in the Posberg reserve. Picture: Jim McLagan

Among these are the towns of Velddrif, Aurora, Piketberg and Porterville in the Bergrivier district.

The Bergrivier region is a beautiful area peppered with small towns that offer a vast array of activities and accommodation options, as well as some of the most pristine and untouched nature reserves, wetlands, lagoons and more.

Here are some highly recommended places to visit and stay during the flower season:

The popular West Coast village of Velddrif hugs the banks of the Berg River, just a few kilometres from where the river enters the ocean at St Helena Bay.

Visitors can look forward to a profusion of flowers to be enjoyed while soaking up the rich and welcoming culture and lifestyle of this coastal community – which offers an abundance of activities, accommodation options, and eateries to suit all tastes.

No trip to Velddrif is complete without a visit to the famous Bokkomlaan.

Bokkomlaan (Bokkom avenue) along the banks of the Berg river in Velddrif. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Fringed by the Great Berg River, this quaint dirt road is scattered with a cluster of historic buildings and jetties.

In addition to the flower-filled scenery, visitors can expect to spot a vast array of bird life in the Berg River estuary – rated as one of the most important birding areas in the world.

Just inland from Velddrif, along a stretch of country road that promises wonderful flower sightings, lies the picturesque town of Aurora.

This small, once unheard-of gem is a village of hidden surprises where visitors in Spring can look forward to carpets of flowers, dramatic mountain scenery, beautiful Sandveld architecture, incredible night skies, and a wide variety of bird life.

Take a drive up the mountain in the Danielshoogte Private Reserve and experience spectacular views of the valley – on clear days, Table Mountain and St Helena Bay can be seen.

Another 50km inland from Aurora will see flower-loving road-trippers finding their way to the town of Piketberg, which is nestled at the foot of the Piketberg Mountain range and surrounded by a tapestry of wheat fields, vineyards, fruit farms and indigenous fynbos bearing beautiful blooms in Spring.

This historic village, which is named after the impressive mountain that it clings to, draws visitors looking to enjoy – among many other things – the rich history and architecture to be found here.

Last but certainly not least on the list of highly recommended towns to visit this spring is Porterville, a quaint village nestled on the slopes of the Olifant's River Mountains at the base of the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area – only 150 kilometres from Cape Town.

Long known as the home of the rare Disa Uniflora flower, as well as a paragliding and hang-gliding capital, this beautiful town is now fast making a name for itself amongst art and food enthusiasts, as well as those looking for a memorable escape from the city surrounded by exceptional natural beauty and country charm.

Some of the top spring flower viewing spots in the mountains above Porterville are Beaverlac, Pampoenfontein and Berghoff – all of which also offer accommodation.

Other recommended accommodation options on the mountain include Cedar Peak and Heidedal, and a visit to the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area is a must-do, particularly in Spring!

For more information on these towns and where to stay, eat and things to do visit https://bergriviertourism.co.za/bergrivier

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