Destination Niewoudtville: the bulb capital of the world is in full bloom

Posted by David Henning on 14 April 2022

Every spring, visitors flock to the surrounds of Niewoudtville to take in the blooms of the Cape floral kingdom. But, the semi-arid landscape comes to life more than once throughout the year, with an extraordinary sighting soon after the first winter rains in March.

Brunsvigia bosmanaie, commonly referred to as Maartblomme (March flowers), is a geophyte with large heads and beautiful blossoms that vary in shades of pink. It is found throughout the semi-arid region from southwestern Namibia to the Tygerberg slopes of Cape Town. But in Niewoudtville and Vanrynsdrop, they occur in breathtaking, dense clusters,

Photography guide David Rogers has been tracking these flowers for a few years now and says that this year seems to be the most flowers he’s seen in years. ‘This amazing sighting takes my breath away as much as Victoria Falls and the Great Migration. A true miracle of nature. Amazingly on my last two visits, I have been almost alone at the site. I must have counted just four or five other visitors the whole day,’ Rogers said.

One of the visitors to the site was world-renowned filmmaker, Trevor De Kock, working on his BBC documentary The Private Life of Plants. 

‘A local watching the flowers with me who grew up in the region told me “They weren’t like this when I was a child”, Rogers added. ‘I have been tracking these flowers for years and they are getting better and better. I think that in addition to the good rains there is less pressure from sheep on private farms and reserves in the region.’

Niewoudtville is the bulb capital of the world with the highest concentration of geophytes, tallying a staggering 309 species, with up to 50 different species found in just one square metre of the region’s Renosterveld.

Rogers also wrote the featured article on the Breede River for Getaway‘s May 2022 edition, where he serves as a trustee of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust.

Follow him on Instagram @david_rogers_photographic or visit his website here to find out more.


Bloomin’ beautiful autumn flowers on display in SA

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