Hotspots to visit in August and September that offer wonderful flower sightings, as well as fun things to see and do, are the towns of Velddrif, Aurora, Piketberg and Porterville in the Bergrivier district – a beautiful area on Cape Town’s doorstep that offers a vast array of activities and accommodation options, as well as some of the most pristine and untouched nature reserves, wetlands, lagoons and more.
Blooming good places to visit & stay
The popular town of Velddrif hugs the banks of the Berg River, 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 in the area, while also soaking up the welcoming lifestyle of this coastal village – which offers an abundance of activities, accommodation options, and eateries to suite all tastes.
No trip to Velddrif is complete without a visit to the famous Bokkomlaan. 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 birdlife in the Berg River estuary – rated as one of the most important birding areas in the world.
On Saturday 06 August there are a variety of events taking place in Velddrif. These include a flower workshop and exhibition at the SA Fisheries Museum, and a fun flower colour run on the Kruispad Farm – with a 5km and 10km route to choose from, and a fancy-dress competition for the best-dressed flower themed costume. Visitors can also opt to experience the west coast flowers with a 90-minute tractor ride through the indigenous fynbos on a farm that boast a vast tract of stunning blooms.
Just inland from Velddrif, along a stretch of country road that promises wonderful flower sightings, lies the picturesque town of Aurora. This small village offers visitors the chance to look forward to carpets of flowers, dramatic mountain scenery, beautiful architecture, incredible night skies, and a wide variety of bird life.
Be sure to visit the impressive Dutch Reformed Church while in town, and take a drive up the mountain to the Danielshoogte Private Reserve to experience spectacular views of the valley. On clear days, Table Mountain and St Helena Bay can be seen. On the 10th of September flower enthusiasts can take part in a guided flower walk at the Danielshoogte Private Reserve – an up close and personal experience through mountain fynbos and stunning rock formations. The Koekeloer @ Koffiemoer Coffee Shop in Aurora is highly recommended for hungry travelers – and on the 9th of August visitors can look forward to a flower inspired high tea experience.
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.
The best way to experience the heritage of this town, with its meticulously restored cottages and the spectacular neo-gothic style Dutch Reformed Church, is by doing the Piketberg Historic Route – a tour that takes visitors to the Commercial Hotel, old Sheriff’s Office and original police station, the original bioscope, and the Piketberg Museum. In total the route has 12 points of interest and visitors can walk or drive to each at their leisure. To celebrate spring and the flower season, from the 22nd to the 26th of August visitors can join guided historic tours, and the church will be open to the public for viewing over this time – with a flower arranging event taking place on the 26th.
While in Piketberg, don’t miss Last Friday – a food and art festival that takes place across the village on the last Friday of every month – with August’s event taking place on the 26th. Visitors can expect a celebration of arts, culture, live music and delicious artisanal foods and drinks. On Saturday the 27th a trip up the mountain to Piket-Bo-Berg is a must to visit the Farmers Market, which boasts a plethora of hand-crafted items, farm fresh produce, and artisanal food and drink.
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, 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. A visit to the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area is a must do for beautiful flower sightings, and whilst in the mountains above Porterville, gin enthusiasts can enjoy a gin-tasting and tapas experience at the Ginsmith boutique distillery. For those keen to explore the town itself (after getting their fill of the stunning scenery with its spring blooms) an art experience is highly recommended as Porterville is home to a large community of artists. Visit them in their studios to view and buy a wide range of art from ceramics to paintings and jewellery.
On the 14th of August the town’s monthly market will be taking place at the show grounds – the Porterville Community Market – and visitors can look forward to hand crafted wares, artisanal foods, arts, and warm country community hospitality. On the 26th to the 27th the venue will host the Porterville Youth Expo.
“These are a just a few of the places to visit for this year’s flower show courtesy of mother nature, and some of the many events and offerings available to visitors,” concludes Nomonde Ndlangisa, CEO of Bergrivier Tourism. “All of these towns within the Bergrivier region promise a great escape for the entire family, and gorgeous flowers to be viewed.”
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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