South Africa is a land of majestic mountain ranges, verdant valleys and vineyards, outstanding scenery, and, of course, fynbos; the vegetation, heathland, and shrubland that’s unique to the region. From a distance, the sight of fynbos – pronounced “fane-bos” – may conjure up memories of Scottish moors, albeit with a much sunnier backdrop, but this extraordinary type of plant life, found in South Africa’s Cape Floral Kingdom, requires a closer look.
From the King Protea (South Africa’s national flower) to the many varieties of reeds, this magical explosion of colourful plant life is largely thanks to the area’s nutrient-poor soil; it seems when plants are forced to work for it, the product is pretty visually and ecologically spectacular. Stay at the luxurious Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa where you’ll be right at the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, or on the wildlife reserve that’s known for its floral landscape, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat.
Where to Find Fynbos
The belt of land that’s home to the fynbos stretches across the southwest and southern tip of the African continent, encompassing tens of thousands of kilometres. And it’s diverse, too; there are more than 100 species of fynbos for every square kilometre, many of which don’t exist anywhere else on the planet.
There are plenty of scenic spots to get out and enjoy the fynbos in the Cape Floral Kingdom, most notably Cape Point, Table Mountain, and the Silvermine Nature Reserve, which have the added bonus of being incredible sights in their own rights; visits here make for perfect day trips.
Another great way to view the fynbos is by visiting the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Cape Floral Kingdom, Kirstenbosch protects and preserves numerous species of fynbos. Check out their walking tours for extra informative bang for your buck.
With its grand mountains and unspoiled vistas, the Kogelberg Nature Reserve (about two hour’s drive from the hotel) is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places to view the fynbos. It’s also a great place for more active adventures like hiking, canoeing, and even wildlife spotting, should the mood strike.
Best Times of Year
The beauty of the fynbos is that there’s always something to see regardless of what time of year you visit. Nevertheless, many swear that if you’re lucky enough to be in the area in September or October, you’re in for a treat because, as it’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere, the region is bursting with plant life.
Special Fynbos Events and Experiences
The Funky Fynbos Festival, held every year in Gansbaai, is a great day out for the whole family, with fynbos displays and safaris, not to mention great activities like whale watching, bike tours and live music.
Or, for a more interactive experience, why not treat yourself to a luxurious spa treatment back at The Spa at The Twelve Apostles. Using handpicked fynbos, the Apostles Touch treatment is deeply relaxing and ever-so decadent.Over at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat try the Cederberg “Soul”ution signature treatment. Using traditional African techniques, this therapeutic treatment incorporates an aromatic fusion of South Africa’s indigenous rooibos and fynbos vegetation; the perfect way to unwind after a day exploring the Cape Floral Kingdom.
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