For a few short months each year, Renosterveld transforms from what appears to be a monotonous green-gray landscape – into the most intense colours and wondrous and bizarre shapes imaginable.
The transformation takes place in spring: From late August to early October.
THIS is the time for flower lovers to get into nature, and experience flowers that show their faces briefly (sometimes only for a few days).
But you can’t just wander onto private property, to get a closer look at some of our Overberg Renosterveld gems. So here are 7 Overberg Renosterveld destinations that are open to visitors (even though many of them are still a well-kept secret).
- Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve:
We couldn’t write a blogpost without including part of the largest connected stretch of Lowland Renosterveld left on earth – our very own Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve. The reserve, managed by the ORCT, is close De Hoop Nature Reserve, between Bredasdorp and Swellendam. Here you’ll find Critically Endangered species such as Polhillia curtisiae and Lachenalia barberaei, and Endangered species such as Drosanthemum quadratum.
Image credit: Arolela Guest Farm
- Arolela Guest Farm
This guest farm is found close to Caledon. It’s a working farm – but under owner, MG Lötter’s watchful eye, it’s also part of the largest area of Western Rûens Shale Renosterveld left in the world. Look out for special species like the Moraea comptonii (a strikingly beautiful Iris) and many other threatened species. MG, a 5th generation farmer on the property, has a variety of guest houses available for visitors.
Image credit: Skeiding Guest Farm
- Skeiding Guest Farm
The home of Neels and Anné-Lize Uys, Skeiding Guest Farm is a member of the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy, situated close to Swellendam. While staying in the accommodation on the farm, you can, with Neels’s permission, visit his secret Renosterveld ‘koppies’. These will give you insight into how these landscapes used to look. This nature reserve is home to attractive species like Bobbejaantoontjies (Curio radicans), Aspalathus eustonbrownii, Osteospermum tomentosum and Indigofera nigromontana.
Image credit: Swaynekloof Farm
- Swaynekloof Farm
This farm is owned by Peter and Colleen Simmonds, and 130 hectares of Western Rûens Shale Renosterveld found here was recently included in the ORCT’s conservation easement programme. During a stayover at Swaynekloof Farm, close to Botriver in the Overberg, you could see endemic and rare species, including Babiana purpurea, Freylinia helmei, Drosanthemum flavum and others.
Image credit: Green Mountain Trail
- Green Mountain Trail
It takes 4 days to complete this 60km trail. And it takes you through farms in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a 100,000 hectare reserve around the Grabouw area. You’ll see most of the Renosterveld during your hike on Porcupine Hills farm. Look out for Babiana species, a range of Gladiolus and Oxalis species and many more special Renosterveld gems.
Image credit: Patryskraal Farm Cottage
- Patryskraal Farm Cottage
Just outside of Bredasdorp, the Uys brothers care for a large stretch of Eastern Rûens Shale Renosterveld. Here you’ll find a population of Polhillia canescens – one of the ONLY known populations that remain. In order to experience their Renosterveld landscapes, you can stay over at the Patryskraal Farm Cottage.
Image credit: Grootvadersbosch Farm
- Grootvadersbosch Farm
Keith and Michelle Moodie own this farm, on which you can find a number of Renosterveld, Fynbos and forest patches. There’s a guesthouse on the farm – which is a short drive from the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve (the farm is also a member of the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy). It’s the ideal destination for mountain bikers and trail runners hoping to see Renosterveld during their activity.
Happy Renosterveld viewing this spring!