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FLOWER SPOTTING (with the sun on your back)

It’s not often you are told to get in your car and look for flowers.

I will happily fall on that sword any day. And yes, being employed by MapStudio, I grabbed both our Visitor’s Guide Flower Route and Flower Route Road Map and hopped in the car.

The Visitor’s Guide covers everything from A (Alexander Bay) through to Y (Yserfontein). 60 pages – each featuring a different destination and the indigenous flora found in the area.

 

FLOWER SPOTTING Wild flowers

Flower-spotting tips

Snooze ‘n cruise
You have permission to stay in bed late. The daisies don’t open for business until
the sun warms up to around 17°C mid-morning, so from 10:00 to 15:00 are the best
viewing times.

Turn your back on the sun
For full impact of the daisy blooms, drive or walk with the sun behind you, so that
the flowers face you.

Wildlife alert
Keep your eyes peeled for interesting details, like the pollinators hard at work,
cavorting in the pollen-laden centers of their universe.

Be open-minded
The dazzling carpets of daisies are not the only show in the platteland in spring –
bulbs and hundreds of other flowers are also at their titillating best and many of
them open even on dull days, so don’t pack up when clouds cover the sun.

 

 

 

FLOWER SPOTTING Wild flowers

Pick people’s brains
Stay at places where you can find out about the current flower hot spots from your
hosts and fellow guests. Use the evenings to mingle and find out where the day’s
best sightings were.

Stop for koffie en koek
It’s a matter of road safety on long stretches of road, and farm stalls serve great food.
You also help boost the local economy and can usually pick up the latest flower info.

Fire stop
Don’t avoid areas that have burned recently. Bulbs and geophytes are the first to
emerge and take advantage of the lack of competition to poke their heads through
the ashes to bloom prolifically. Often, these are plants that bloom only at intervals
of many years.

Flower etiquette
People tend to get a bit silly at the spectacle of so many flowers in their reproductive
prime, because subliminally they know it’s really all about sex. The flowers are punting
for pollinators in order to reproduce. If you can’t offer the same services as bees,
beetles and the like, please don’t CRUSH the flowers by lying on them to take photos!

Protecting flowers
Wild flowers are protected by South African law and it’s illegal to pick them.
Observe the conservationists’ motto: take only pictures, leave only footprints.

Flower report
West Coast Tourism publishes a flower report during the season.
+27 22 433 8505
tourism@wcdm.co.za
http://www.capewestcoast.org

Flower Hotline
Namaqualand and West Coast
+27 72 938 8186
+27 72 760 6019

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