Taking a hike through the magical South African countryside, you’ll be mesmerised by the beauty and scent of fynbos. One of South Africa’s World Heritage sites, the Cape Floral Kingdom, consists of eight protected areas spanning across the Garden Route, Cape Peninsula and Eastern Cape. The area it covers boasts spectacular mountain ranges and scenic ocean views, as well as being home to some of the richest fauna and flora biodiversity in Africa.
The best part about admiring the floral region is that it’s accessible to anyone. All you need to do is get in a car and go on a road trip to experience it first-hand. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee said that the 530 km² Cape Floral Region is of “outstanding universal significance to humanity”, saying it is “one of the richest areas for plants in the world”. With a reputation like this to live up to, locals in South Africa take pride in maintaining the Cape Floral region to ensure the plant species thrive. It is also the only floral kingdom in the world that is contained in a single country which makes it that much more unique for travellers visiting the area.
The most interesting part about this tiny area is that it only consists of 0.5% of the area of Africa, but it boasts nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. As a floral hot spot, the Fynbos vegetation attracts plenty of bird life, insects, and other wildlife, which is ideal for avid game watchers and birders on a luxury safari trip. South Africa, in its dry season, experiences plenty of natural fires, which for fynbos is another way of it dispersing and thriving.
There are eight protected areas in the country which are the best spots to take in the flora of Africa. These are the Table Mountain National Park, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Groot Winterhoek wilderness area, the Boland mountain area, Swartberg mountains, Boosmansbos wilderness area, Cederberg wilderness area and Baviaanskloof. All of which we will be happy to take you to on one of our tours.
If you are visiting Cape Town for a short stay, one of the best spots to experience the entire Southern African floral species is the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where you can enjoy an afternoon picnic. The Table Mountain National Park alone has more plant species than the entire British Isles or New Zealand. More than that, 70% of the Cape Floral species are endemic, which means they can be found nowhere else in the world. That is to say that this makes your experience of seeing it very rare.
And where are the best luxury accommodation places to stay to experience the fauna and flora?
One of our top picks is the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, nestled between the mountains and sea. This five-star eco-paradise showcases the incredible plant and marine life of the southern tip of Africa. Grootbos offers you a one-of-a-kind luxury African experience and is only two hours from Cape Town and 30 minutes from Hermanus. You’ll be able to enjoy the tranquillity and peacefulness of nature while experiencing luxury at its best. Take our Big 5, whale watching and fynbos tour to experience it for yourself.
In the heart of the Garden Route, you’ll find Botlierskop Nature Reserve which is home to four of the Big 5. At the foot of the magnificent Outeniqua Mountains and right around the corner from the unspoiled beaches of the Indian Ocean, this game reserve has it all. If you are a nature lover, this spot is the prime getaway with nature walks, game drives and horseback riding. Their guided bush walk will allow you the perfect opportunity to take in the Cape Floral Kingdom, and probably a scenic photo or two (read out top tips for safari photography here).
Now that you are crammed full of knowledge and interesting facts about the Cape Floral Kingdom, it’s time to experience it first-hand. Don’t miss this opportunity, take a tour with Luxury Safaris.