The Wild Flowers & Gardens Of South Africa With Nick Bailey

Tour Overview

No place on earth can beat South Africa for its flowers and gardens. With more than 9,000 plant species, the country is rich with astonishing flora, and on this wonderful 13-day trip, led in part by BBC Gardeners' World Presenter Nick Bailey, you will get to enjoy it at its very best. 

In addition to wildflower visits to the West Coast National Park, Kokerboom Nursery, Ramskop Wildflower Nature Reserve and the world’s bulb capital Nieuwoudtville, you will enjoy private guided tours of four national botanical gardens, guided marine and fynbos walks and an exclusive Question & Answer event with Nick Bailey. Also accompanying you throughout the tour will be a specialist horticultural tour manager to answer any questions you may have.

However, it's not all about the flowers, as you will also have the chance to enjoy the other reasons that make South Africa one of the world’s favourite destinations, from the Cape winelands to its spectacular coastline – all in superb style. 

Tour Includes

  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Guided garden tours & lunches as detailed
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort
  • Picnic lunch at Hantam National Botanical Garden
  • Namaqualand tours
  • Breakfasts and barbeque at Langebaan Country Estate
  • West Coast National Park tour with lunch
  • Tour & lunch at Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners at De Hoop Nature Reserve
  • Activities as detailed at De Hoop Nature Reserve
  • Breakfasts at the Portswood Hotel
  • Table Mountain tour
  • Wine region tour with lunch
  • Guided tour of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
  • Afternoon tea at Vineyard Hotel
  • Question & Answer event with Nick Bailey
  • Private transfers and transportation on tour
  • Entrance fees
  • Airline departure taxes
  • Service of a specialist horticultural tour manager



Day 1UK Departure

UK Departure

Depart London Heathrow on the direct overnight British Airways flight to Cape Town.


Day 2Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort

Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort

On arrival the group will be met and transferred north towards Citrusdal to stay for two nights on full board basis at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort.

This evening a welcome dinner will be held, allowing the group to become acquainted.

Overnight at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort


Day 3Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort

Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort

A full day trip today to explore this extraordinary area, beginning with a visit to Vanrhynsdorp, the home of the Kokerboom nursery, the biggest succulent nursery in the world. The next stop will be to Nieuwoudtville, the bulb capital of the world, where there will be a visit to a flower farm to witness the wonderful floral carpets.

A picnic lunch will be enjoyed before a guided tour in the afternoon of the Hantam National Botanical Garden, one of the world's very special biodiversity treasures which boasts an incredible 1,350 plant species.

Overnight at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort


Day 4Langebaan Country Estate

Langebaan Country Estate

Travel this morning to visit the Rooibos tea factory in Clanwilliam and the Ramskop Wildflower Nature Reserve which, although only 66 hectares in size, is home to a great display of planted wild flowers from the entire Namaqualand region.

Continue in a westerly direction to Lambert’s Bay, for a unique open-air seafood lunch, before continuing to the lagoon-side town of Langebaan to stay for two nights on half board basis at Langebaan Country Estate.

This evening a traditional South African braai (barbeque) will be held.

Overnight at Langebaan Country Estate


Day 5Langebaan Country Estate

Langebaan Country Estate

The day will be spent exploring the West Coast National Park. One of the natural wonders of the world, and an annual spectacle that attracts botanists, photographers and sightseers from all over the world, wildflower season in the park is at its peak annually from August to September, and during these two months visitors will see a wide variety of flowers on display.

The Postberg area is particularly impressive - it is only open in flower season and is a sight to behold, where the wildlife on the plains mingle with the flowers. Just inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha Bay are the azure waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, the focal point of the park. A wide variety of game, flowers and birds that roost on sheltered islands plus the pristine golden beaches of the reserve can all be viewed.

Lunch will be enjoyed at the Geelbek Restaurant, a Cape Dutch building situated on the lagoon and listed as a National Monument.

Overnight at Langebaan Country Estate


Day 6De Hoop Nature Reserve

De Hoop Nature Reserve

Today the group will travel south to Worcester to enjoy a guided tour of the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden. This garden is totally unique in that it is the only truly succulent garden in the southern hemisphere and on the African continent. A striking feature of the garden is the use of shale rocks that show off the smooth, swollen trunks of the succulents to perfection. The garden also has various display areas including a traditional Nama kookskerm, (cooking shelter), which is filled with plants traditionally used in Namaqualand and highlights the importance of plants for food, medicine and shelter.

Lunch will be served in the Kokerboom Restaurant, which enjoys a tranquil garden setting overlooking the shale koppies and the magnificent Hexriver mountain range, before continuing onwards to stay for two nights on a full board basis at the De Hoop Nature Reserve.

This evening join a guided eco cruise boat trip and enjoy bird, game, otter and even porcupine sightings whilst drinks and savoury snacks are served.

Overnight at the De Hoop Nature Reserve.


Day 7De Hoop Nature Reserve

De Hoop Nature Reserve

This morning the group will enjoy a guided interpretive marine walk through the Reserve, learning about the local coastal ecology and viewing the numerous birds. Also to be spotted easily from the shore will be the magnificent Southern Right Whales, who call these waters home for four months of every year.

After an alfresco picnic lunch, a guide will lead a journey through the reserve on a walking route which includes a diversity of habitats from dense coastal forests to exceptionally rich fynbos-covered hills. The guide will share their intricate knowledge of the reserve’s ecology and plant-animal relationships, as well as explaining how fire plays such an important role in the fynbos ecosystem.

Dinner will be a traditional South African boma held, weather permitting, under the stars.

Overnight at the De Hoop Nature Reserve.


Day 8Portswood Hotel

Portswood Hotel

This morning the group will travel to Betty’s Bay for a guided tour of the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden.

This beautiful, secluded garden is set between mountain and sea, in the heart of the Cape fynbos region and encompasses 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos garden and 190 hectares of pristine natural fynbos. Situated in the centre of the coastal fynbos where the flora is at its richest, the garden encompasses mountain slopes with their wind-clipped heathlands, deep gorges with relict forests, flats and marshes with restios, sedges and bulbs, as well as dunes adjacent to the beach with their specialised salt-adapted plants. The garden is renowned for its waterfalls and amber pools. The main fynbos families (proteas, ericas and restios) are present as well as other important families such as irises, daisies and orchids.

After the opportunity to purchase lunch in the Red Disa Restaurant continue via the beautiful scenic coastal route around False Bay to Cape Town to stay for four nights on a bed & breakfast basis at the Portswood Hotel.

Overnight at the Portswood Hotel


Day 9Portswood Hotel

Portswood Hotel

This morning the group will enjoy a trip up to the city’s most iconic feature - Table Mountain. One of the new natural 7 wonders of the world, it is a mountain chain which stretches from Signal Hill in the north, to Cape Point in the South and is the single richest floristic area in the world. It is actually home to more species of plants than the entire British Isles, despite covering an area less than the size of London. After taking the cable car trip up 1089 metres to the top, the group will gain their first insight into the wonders of the fynbos flora. On the summit one can enjoy one of the hiking trails and explore the summit further or just soak up the commanding 360-degree views of Cape Town, Table Bay and the nearby peaks of the surrounding mountains, or spot the native rock dassies.

The rest of the day is free to explore Cape Town and its many attractions.

Overnight at the Portswood Hotel


Day 10Portswood Hotel

Portswood Hotel

The group will be joined today by Nick Bailey - horticulturalist, writer, garden designer and presenter of the BBC’s Gardener’s World.

The Cape’s famed wine region is on the agenda today with the group’s first stop Babylonstoren, one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, for a guided tour of their outstanding gardens. At the heart of the farm and inspired by the Company's Gardens of the Cape, they span eight acres and are formal in structure. Every one of over 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible and it is grown as biologically as is possible. The garden is divided into fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens and includes a prickly pear maze. Gravity feeds water into waterways from a stream into the garden as it was done for 300 years, and it is laid-out according to a systematic grid, with three axis points.

Continue onwards to the House of J.C. Le Roux. Located in the heart of the picturesque Devon Valley near Stellenbosch, this award-winning wine estate is South Africa’s leading cellar dedicated to the craft of making sparkling wine. Enjoying acclaim for creating exceptional Méthode Cap Classique (MCC), the group will enjoy a presentation on J.C. Le Roux’s finer arts of wine-making before sampling some of the wines for themselves and then having lunch.

After lunch is a real highlight - a private guided walk around the extraordinary Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden. One of South Africa's most famous living artists, Dylan has spent almost 10 years creating and fine tuning his outdoor showroom. On the slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain looking out over vineyards towards the ocean, this is a place of expansive vistas, scents and the sounds of nature, with tranquil groves, hidden paths and lush indigenous vegetation. Over 60 sculptures constitute a comprehensive record of Lewis's full artistic development, and they have been carefully placed in harmony with the landscape. Along four kilometres of paths, one is led on a journey through different 'rooms', from the heather hills dominated by earthy male images to the meditative poplar grove with its sensual female torsos. The garden focuses on indigenous species and although planted to give year-round colour, it peaks in August and September.

Time permitting, there will also be the opportunity to explore the many delights of historic Stellenbosch - the Dutch Reform Church, the town hall, museum and numerous galleries & shops, including the famous Oom Samie se Winkel general trading store.

Overnight at the Portswood Hotel


Day 11Portswood Hotel

Portswood Hotel

The group will again be in the company of Nick Bailey for the day.

The day begins with a visit to the Ardene Gardens, home to the finest collection of exotic trees in South Africa, with over 400 species of tree having been identified. Established in 1845 by Ralph Henry Arderne, the gardens have been declared a National Historical Monument, and as the walkways curve and meander, benches invite the visitor to sit down and observe the trees towering high above.

This will then be followed by a guided tour of the famed Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Growing only indigenous South African plants, the estate covers 528 hectares and supports diverse fynbos, flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country, whilst the Bookshop houses a large variety of books on the Cape's flora and fauna.

The day is completed with a real treat; a guided walk around the beautifully-manicured gardens of the Vineyard Hotel followed by afternoon tea. The hotel’s eco-award winning riverside gardens are comprised of seven acres of landscaped parkland and were designed in the early 1980’s by landscape architect Anne Sutton. A number of water features add to its tranquil ambience and the large, natural rocks scattered throughout the gardens were collected from across the peninsula by the hotel’s late owner. Afternoon tea is served in the garden lounge, with delicate finger sandwiches complemented by a selection of warm savoury treats and exquisite cakes and desserts.

An informal Question & Answer event with drinks will be held this evening with Nick Bailey.

Overnight at the Portswood Hotel


Day 12Departure


Today is free, to perhaps take a helicopter trip over the city or visit historic Robben Island, before transferring to Cape Town airport to depart on the direct overnight British Airways flight to London.


Day 13UK Arrival

UK Arrival

Early morning arrival into London Heathrow

  • UK Departure
  • Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort
  • Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort
  • Langebaan Country Estate
  • Langebaan Country Estate
  • De Hoop Nature Reserve
  • De Hoop Nature Reserve
  • Portswood Hotel
  • Portswood Hotel
  • Portswood Hotel
  • Portswood Hotel
  • Departure
  • UK Arrival

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