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Western Cape Celebrates Spring with a Dash of Colour! 
Spring in the Western Cape of South Africa celebrates two exciting natural phenomena attracting visitors from all over the world: The kaleidoscope of wild flowers and our gentle giants from the south, the Southern Right Whales . A beautiful sunny windless day inspired my folks and me to pack a tasty picnic basket and get out and explore our beautiful surroundings. We visited the West Coast National Park only 1 hour 30 minutes drive from Cape Town.

Much of the land during our September month is decorated with displays of multicoloured wild flowers. The West Coast flower region, an integral part of the Cape Fynbos Kingdom, boasts more than 1200 species of flowering plants. About 80 of these are endemic to the West Coast and known nowhere else. The density of flowers depends on the amount of rain received before the flowering season. Flowers are also the original sun-worshippers so you shouldn't expect them to show themselves on a cloudy day. The best time to see them is during the hottest time of day between 11am and 3pm. The flowers turn towards the sun and are therefore best viewed when the sun is behind you.

West Coast wildflowers

We found a great picnic spot on a large granite rock near the sea, its huge crashing waves still angry after the last big storm that hit the Cape. A gang of Hartlaub Gulls invited themselves to lunch, hoping to grab some scraps from our table, quarrelling amongst themselves to be first in line.


West Coast wildflowers

On our drive through the park we were blessed with a sighting of a family of the bat-eared foxes. A great sighting because of the rarity of it, it is a small fox with enormous ears allowing excellent hearing which it uses to find its prey such as insects, invertebrates and rodents.

Bat-eared Fox, West Coast National Park

We returned after an exceptional day together to enjoy sundowner drinks at a quaint little seaside tavern called Orca in Melkbosstrand.

Our next adventure was a scenic drive around the Cape Peninsula, a popular days outing for many visitors to our beautiful Cape. A slow drive along the False Bay coastline allowed us close up sightings of some of our beautiful gentle giants, the Southern Right Whales. Between July and December every year, the Southern Right whales move north from their Antarctic feeding grounds to the warmer waters around the southern African continent to mate, calve and rear their young. Their gestation period is approximately 12 months so a female will mate one year and return the next to calve.


Southern Right Whale

A little further south along the coast brought us to Boulders Beach, the home ground to a protected colony of African Penguins. Well maintained and protected by South African National Parks Board, there is a raised wooden platform, which allows you close up viewing of these little men in suits. A conservation levy allows for their constant research and protection and you will find large information boards given fascinating facts about the penguins.


African Penguins at Boulders Beach
View from Boulders Beach

Our scenic drive continued all the way south to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. This is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and offers hiking, surfing, angling, picnicking, beaching and cycling opportunities against the spectacular backdrop of the mountains and coastline of the most south western point in Africa. One of the major tourist attractions is of course Cape Point, which offers visitors excellent viewing opportunities from the two lighthouses that adorn the point – one still functional, informative interpretive signage that traces the cultural and natural history of the Point. The lighthouse is accessible by foot or you can catch the Flying Dutchman funicular to the top.

Cape Point

The reserve is home to various species of game such as Cape Mountain Zebra, Eland (our largest antelope in Africa) Bontebok, Red Hartebeest, Ostriches, Baboons, Caracals, Genets and various other smaller animals, birds, reptiles, insects etc.

Spectacular scenery abounds bringing home to me what a special country I live in….

Happy travels

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