A Plant Lover’s Guide For Traveling South Africa
By Kelsey Marie
My favorite part about being a millennial is seeing my peers becoming plant parents. I feel like we’ve developed a healthy obsession with buying plants and actually nurturing them. Now when I travel, one of my tasks is finding someone to take care of my plants.
Traveling doesn’t mean you have to put your infatuation for plants to the side. All you have to do is find a destination that has lots for plant-lovers to see.
If you’re searching for a plant lover’s paradise, look no further than South Africa.
Did you know that the ancient forests of Hogsback in South Africa inspired ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien?
There are so many attractions in South Africa that a plant lover is seldom to run out of things to see.
Head to these locations in South Africa, catering to those who love plants.
The province of Limpopo is known as the ‘Food Basket’ of South Africa because it produces approximately 60 percent of fruits, vegetables, corn, wheat, cotton, and tea in the country.
Limpopo also has the largest population of the Marula tree, which is indigenous to South Africa. There is an annual orchid festival held in September during Magoebaskloof’s spring festival.
During the festival, you can visit the Azalea Farm, the Cheerio Gardens, and the Sequoia Garden Retreat.
Many tourists love KwaZulu-Natal because of its tropical weather. As a result of the area’s humidity, there is plenty of sugarcane, corn, and pineapple naturally grown here.
Plant lovers should visit the KZN inland branch of the Botanical Society’s Open Wildlife Gardens.
There is also the indigenous Open Gardens in Kloof which takes place in June.
Head to KwaZulu-Natal from September to November for the open Midlands Gardens.
The Amatole Forests of the Eastern Cape’s Hogsback Village is simply magical. It is occupied with waterfalls, the Cape Parrot, the old world Samango monkey species and the Amatole Toad.
There are around 1,215 plant species in Hogsback. To get acquainted with the plants, partake in a guided tour during the Hogsback Festival of Trees.
Visit in October to experience the annual Hogsback Garden Festival and the Bedford Gardens Open Gardens Festival.
Head to the Northern Cape from July until September for a spring flower tour.
Visit Namaqualand, Springbok, Okiep, Nababeep, Concordia, and Kamieskrun on the tour for views of the wildflowers surfacing from the earth.
Be sure to pack warm clothing because it gets quite cold here at night.
Visit Cape Peninsula, which houses Cape Town and the southernmost tip of the African continent. There are more plant species here than all of the British Isles and New Zealand.
Head to Cape Point Nature Reserve along the Atlantic Ocean coastline to admire the cape fynbos growing in its natural habitat.
There are 200 bird species on the reserve. The best time to visit the reserve is between May and October, although the National Park is open throughout the year.
Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Vergelegen Estate heritage gardens are renowned botanical gardens in the Western Cape.
Here you can find species such as camellia, agapanthus, white mulberry, camphor, maple trees, yellowwood trees, rose, and hydrangea.
Visit Vergelegen gardens, home of the oldest oak tree in the southern hemisphere, dating back to 300 years.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie