BY PUJA GUPTA
New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANSlife) Flowers have long since caught and retained human fancy. They’ve been used to express love and regret, to bestow congratulations and to cement apologies. These veritable floral blooms are now taking over the internet, with travelers posing amidst nature’s most captivating backgrounds – no filters needed here!
While Indian borders remain closed, we can still gaze upon these colorful, lush countryside flowers that flood the Rainbow Nation through our screens. Travelers planning their South African itineraries for next year, should be sure to make note of the following seasons:
Jacaranda Season, Pretoria
Every year thousands of tourists’ flock to Pretoria – nicknamed the Jacaranda city, to see Jacaranda blooms in all their glory, and capture that perfect shot for their next Instagram post! It is estimated that there are 70,000 Jacaranda trees in Pretoria, which drape the beautiful city in swathes of purple putting on spectacular show over an eight-week period in late spring each year.
Some of Pretoria’s oldest Jacarandas can be found around Bosman and Cilliers Streets, where some of the first lanes of Jacarandas were planted. Folklore has it that the biggest and oldest Jacaranda in Pretoria can be found on the corner of Eastwood and Stanza Bopape (old Church Street).
To get a birds-eye-view of this exquisite natural phenomenon, drive along Klapperkop. The route houses many stunning viewpoints that this sea of purple can be admired from.
From one of the northern viewpoints of Klapperkop, visitors are also able to spot a line of white trees along the foot of Klapperkop’s northern slope. This is Herbert Baker Street in Groenkloof, which has a row of almost 100 white trees. These trees are also Jacarandas, but have a pure white flower instead of a purple one. They are said to be sterile and is a cultivar of the main species.
Amidst the jacaranda tree’s purple haze of vibrant blossoms, South Africa’s administrative capital of Pretoria presents a true taste of the country’s rich heritage and fascinating history. A city once at the heart of the apartheid regime, Pretoria is now home to a growing number of black civil servants and foreign embassy workers, who are infusing the city with a new sense of multiculturalism.
Blooming Daisies, Namaqualand
In the months of August and September, flowers in their thousands, and in their varying colours and sizes fill fields and mountainsides, often for as far as the eye can see in Namaqualand.
These spring wild flowers are a phenomenon that never ceases to amaze and delight, even for those who live in what is considered South Africa’s “outback” – Namaqualand. What at first glance appears to be a wilderness of semi-desert – arid, dusty plains that stretch before one, dramatic mountains in the background, with little by way of colour or animation – is suddenly transformed, as if by a painter with a manic palette, into a pageant of flowers.
The Namaqualand Flower Route lies roughly 5 hours north of Cape Town. You can already see evidence of flowers even in Cape Town, and Postberg, a small section of the West Coast National Park close to Langebaan, gets the juices flowing, but the real flower show belongs to a series of drives that centre on the towns of Garies, Springbok, Kamieskroon and Port Nolloth, way up the N7.
There are also numerous hiking and cycling routes that allow for a closer experience of the indigenous flora of the land. The riot of colors is sure to leave travellers mesmerized and amazed.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)