- Western Cape
- Waylands Wildflower Reserve
Waylands Wildflower Reserve, Western Cape
Waylands Farm, 6km from Darling, has been in the Duckitt family for six generations since 1865. The Waylands Flower Reserve, is a 80 ha reserve brought into existence around 1922, after Frederick Duckitt gave his permission for the public to stop and view his spectacular spring wildflowers in bloom.
The reserve is open to the public during the flower season and can be accessed along the R307 which runs between Mamre and Darling. It is home to approx. 300 species of flora and one may either drive or take a walk through it.
The fields of Blue Flaks (Heliophila), Ixia and Arums are particularly striking from the road.
Best time to visit
Wildflowers are at their best from about the last week of August to the end of September, peaking in the first 2 weeks of September (weather conditions permitting).
1917 : Frederick Duckitt and Mrs Malan, started the Darling Wild Flower Show.
1933 : His son, Wilfred, set aside the present wild flower reserve.
1952 : His son, Frederick William, built a road to allow the public to drive through the reserve.
Other than that, the veld has been managed in the same basic manner for at least the last 140 years with a grazing strategy used by the local inhabitants of the Cape since time immemorial:
Cattle and sheep are left to graze in the veld throughout the summer, then removed late in autumn. The flowers are then left to grow undisturbed. Once the spring flora have died off and have seeded, at the beginning of summer, the cattle and sheep are once again allowed to graze in the veld, which allows the animals to actively spread the seed.
This practice, together with the occasional autumn burning of the veld, is vitally important in encouraging the growth of the flowers.
Admission is free.
Contact detailsDarling Tourism
Cnr Pastorie & Hill St
Tel: +27 22 492 3361
Fax: +27 22 492 2935
Created: ; Last updated: