I ♥ Darling Because…

This Q&A article was first published on the SA-Venues blog: http://blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/western-cape/love-darling


Hi, I’m Paul Martin from Aloe Cottage in Darling.

Darling IS BEST KNOWN FOR its won­der­fully diverse spring flowers, the Voorkamerfest Theatre and Arts FestivalEvita se Perron (the home of Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout), great wine farms, art gal­ler­ies, country-style res­taur­ants and bis­tros, the Duckitt orchid nurs­ery, the friendly small-town atmo­sphere and relaxed coun­try life.
GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT Evita se Perron where you can pose as “the most fam­ous white woman in South Africa” and take a humor­ous trip down South Africa’s memory lane at Boerassic Park.
THE BEST spring flower PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN AT the Tinie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve, Waylands Flower Reserve or at the orchid open days at Duckitt Nurseries on the first Saturday of the month from May to November.
OTHER HAPPY SNAPS CAN BE TAKEN while sip­ping wine at some of the local wine farms like Ormonde, CloofDarling CellarsGroote Post and Tukulu.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO cycle around the vil­lage and farm­lands with my cam­era. The Nguni cattle at Oude Post Farm are par­tic­u­larly beau­ti­ful with their speckled hides and long horns.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO browse the amaz­ing selec­tion of books at Book League.
I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS any time of the year, BECAUSE sum­mer offers trips to nearby Yzerfontein beach and long warm even­ings around the braai. The Darling Music Experience clas­sical fest­ival takes place in February. Autumn is ideal for wine tast­ing while the vine­yards turn to orange and gold. Winter brings misty morn­ing walks, and cosy nights with good food and wine. Spring brings the annual Darling Wildflower Show, Voorkamerfest, Rocking the Daisies music fest­ival and so much more …

MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS Chicory Cheese Café or Brig’s Barn.

FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST The Marmalade Cat.
BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM Café Mosaic, known by the loc­als as ‘The Stoep’.
MY FAVOURITE bar­gain hunt­ing SPOT IS The Mantis Trading Store.
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN TRY Kraalbosdam on a Friday night.
IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, GO TO the Darling Country Market on the first Saturday morn­ing of the month at the Nitrophoska Building.

Darling’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS the local butchery, Darling Vleismark, per­fect for stock­ing up before return­ing to the city. And don’t miss the cheap homemade jams at the till!
MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS enjoy the local beer, Darling Brew, avail­able at most res­taur­ants in Darling.

FOR SOME CULTURE , I LIKE TO GO TO the Voorkamerfest in September, where per­formers from South Africa and around the world give intim­ate per­form­ances in the ‘voork­amers’ (lounges) of houses in Darling. It is not to be missed.

TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO enjoy the beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings.
IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY mak­ing your own wine at the annual Darling Cellars Crush Day.
MY FAVOURITE WALK IS with my dogs at the Renosterveld Reserve at the top of the hill, where you have pan­or­amic views of the vil­lage and sur­round­ing farm­lands.
MY FAVOURITE gift and home­ware SHOP IS is the beau­ti­ful ware­house at the back of The Marmalade Cat.

MY FAVOURITE bird WATCHING SPOT IS from the kit­chen win­dow at Aloe Cottage, where the weaver birds put on a fant­astic dis­play build­ing their nests and show­ing off their dexterity.

IF YOU’RE HERE IN July, JOIN IN THE FUN AT Christmas in July at Evita se Perron.

MY FAVOURITE MUSEUM IS Darling Museum. Discover how Darling got its name and don’t miss the little shop; Ouma’s Treasures.
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS Koekemakranka Backpackers, FOR ITS cre­at­ive and whacky interior, cre­ated by local artist and co-owner Omnia Grobler.

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS Lelieblom Farm Restaurant where the kids can see and touch farm anim­als. Enjoy a lazy week­end lunch where you dine with your hosts and enjoy true coun­try hospitality.

BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS tak­ing a leis­urely drive around the coun­tryside.
WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I LIKE TO go wine tast­ing, stock up my cel­lar with excel­lent local wines, then enjoy a cel­eb­rat­ory meal at Hilda’s Kitchen at Groote Post.

THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE IS the dif­fer­ence that one per­son, Pieter-Dirk Uys, has made to a com­munity by put­ting Darling on the map and giv­ing so much to sup­port devel­op­ment pro­jects in the area.

I ♥ Darling BECAUSE the people are friendly and wel­com­ing, the vil­lage is authen­tic and not overly touristy, and it’s an hour from Cape Town… but a world away!

Aloe Cottage

Aloe Cottage offers lux­ury self-catering hol­i­day accom­mod­a­tion in Darling, near to Cape Town, South Africa. We are pet-friendly! The hol­i­day home has been beau­ti­fully dec­or­ated with top qual­ity linen, fur­niture and art­work and enjoys pos­sibly the best views in Darling — over rolling hills and farm­lands to the dis­tant moun­tains. Aloe Cottage is the per­fect romantic get­away for couples as well as for week­ends away with friends or fam­ily holidays.

Visit Aloe Cottage
View Rates or make a Booking

Desirable Digits

Chicory Cheese — +27 (0)72 852‑6644
Brig’s Barn — +27 (0)22 492‑2451
The Marmalade Cat — +27 (0)22 492‑2515
Bistro Seven — +27 (0)22 492‑3626
Café Mosaic — +27 (0)22 492‑2307
Kraalbosdam — +27 (0)22 492‑3803
Lelieblom Farmhouse — +27 (0)82 573‑7736

West Coast spring flower report – 29 Aug 2011

Click to download the full Flower Report – 29 Aug 2011 as a PDF file.


www.darlingtourism.co.za or www.darlingwildflowers.co.za for more info.


Darling Renosterveld Reserve (At top of village behind the Darling Primary School);

Darling Groenekloof Reserve (R315 alongside the SPCA premises)

Tienie Versfeld Reserve (R315 Darling – Yzerfontein)

– at all the above reserves visitors need to park their cars and walk in the veld

Duckitt Nurseries Wildflower Reserve – farm road through reserve (R307 Darling – Mamre – in front of Duckitt Nursery);

Waylands – farm road through reserve (R307 to Mamre)


All around Darling the flowers are coming along splendidly. The flowers that are most prominent are:-

Spiloxine canaliculata  – Geel Poublom; Spiloxine serrata  -Goue Sterritjie; Babiana nana -Sandveld bobbejantjie; Dorotheanthus bellideformis – bokbaai vygie (all the colour variations); Drosera cistiflora -snotrosie/sundew; Dimorphotheca pluvialis – reenblomitjie; Arcotis hirsute -Gousblom

Groenekloof: The Groenkloof Reserve is looking more and more spectacular but you must go in and walk around mainly on the road side of the reserve:

Oxalis; Romuleas; groot tulp (Moraea flaccida); the odd bloupypie (Gladiolus gracilus); clumps of orange gousblom (Arctotis); Gazania; Arums /varkblom (Zantedeschia) are well developed, as are Euphorbia and veldsuring (Rumex); yellow eendekos (Cotula), and of course the white ones, ganskos; viooltjies (Lachenalias); Spiloxene, Drosera, Lachenalia, Trachyandra, Moraea, Lapeirousia, Gladiolus, Wachendorfia,  Indigofera, Muraltia,  Tripterus, Felicia, Dimorpotheca,

Flowering bushes: Roemenaggie (Struthiola) bushes; Metalasia; poproos (Hermannia);   bokmaellie (Microloma); platannadoring (Arctopus); lots of the geel klapperbrak (Tetragonia herbacea) and wit kinkelbos (Tetragonia nicgrescens); wilde knoffel (Tulbaghia Capensis); tabakbos (Senecio pubigerous);

Most of the above will be evident in the other reserves and fields and more will be visible in the upcoming days.

Tienie Versveld Reserve – as impressive as Groenkloof because it was also burnt. Super displays of Cotula and Blue flax especially at the top dam.

Renosterveld Reserve – worth visiting but it is rather impenetrable in places with many bushes.  Many varieties can be seen along the paths but if visitors are prepared to go off the pathways they will see a greater variety in bloom.

Duckitt Nurseries reserve now also open:- Beautiful swathes of blueflax are most prominent but visitors should get out and walk to enjoy the finer species flowering between: poproos (Hermannia); sterretjies (Spiloxene); surings (oxalis); froetang (romulea); Lachenalie(viooltjies);Snotrosie(drosera); Dimorphotheca pluvialis – reenblommetjie, etc

Waylands now open. The reserve is dominated by the prolific early blue flax and the yellow coloured flowers. The contrast is very pretty. Here is a list of some of the species found: Late and early flax; Pyjama Bush; Various Bobbejaantjies; Lachenalia;Sterretjie –Poublom,Orange star and the small yellow star; Snotrosie; Chinese Lantern; Purple vygiebush; Bok Baai vygies; Yellow Gousblom; Agt dae Genees bos; Gheizhorrheiza: Small yellow and small blue ones; Felicia; Cineraria; Small yellow nemesia; Yellow ixia.

A birdwatcher from Finland was most chuffed to have seen his first Clapper Lark.

HOW MANY FLOWERS:           Plenty

Please note that this is someone’s  perception, and not a guarantee.

LOCATION OF FLOWERS:       Burgherspost Wine Estate Nature Reserve


Wildflower game drives at Burgherspost Nature Reserve.

Please book in advance – Contact Jacques vd Merwe  Conservation Manager

Tel: 022 492 2830   Fax: 086 653 7479  Cell: 084 606 3470

e-mail: nature@cloof.co.za   www.burgherspost.co.za   www.cloof.co.za


TYPE OF FLOWERS:               Cape rain daisies (Dimorphoteca pluvialis); Bloupypies (Gladiolus carinatus, G. gracilis) ; Geelpypies (Gladiolus trichonemifolius); Rooipypies (Gladiolus watsonius); Uintjies (Morea tripetala, Morea speciosa); Tulpe (Morea minuata, Morea flaccida); Sporries (Heliophylla africana) ; Bobbejaantjies (Babiana ambigua); Leipoldt-se-bobbejaantjie (Babiana leipoldtii);  Pajamabush (Lobostemon fruticosa) ; Skilpadbessiebos (Muraltia spinosa) Rotstert (Babiana rigens)

HOW MANY FLOWERS:                     Plenty

(Please note that this is someone’s perception, and not a guarantee)


Roadsides along the R315 (Darling –Yzerfontein road) and along the West Coast Road R27

Roadsides along the R307 (Atlantis – Darling)


white rain daisies (dimorphoteca pluvialis); orange arctotis

Lewertjies (indigofera); bloupypies

Oxalis – all different types and colours; yellow vygies


HOW MANY FLOWERS:           Patches

Please note that this is someone’s perception, and not a guarantee.




Name:                           Darling Wildflower Show

Date & Time:               16 – 18 September 2011

9am  – 5 pm  daily

Venue:                            Darling Sports Club

Admission:                  Adults R25 scholars R15 / Special discount for pensioners R15 ONLY on Friday (The entrance fee includes entry to the landscaped hall as well as a free ride on a tractor drawn wagon to see the Oude Post

Contact:                 Enquiries Con Meyer cell 084 916 111

Stalls:     Ingrid Wilson 083 655 4237

Name:                              Duckitt Nurseries Orchid Show

Date & Time:                15 – 18 September 2011

9am – 5pmdaily

Venue:                              Oudepost Farm Darling

Admission:                   Adults R25 scholars R15 / Special discount for pensioners R15 ONLY on Thursday and Friday

Contact:          022 492 2606 info@duckittnurseries.com

Darling Spring Flower Report: 9 Sept 2010


Beautiful flowers are now out in full bloom in all reserves around Darling as well as on roadsides.  It seems that with this year’s peculiar weather it is going to be an exceptional year for the wonderfully scented Blue Pypie, Bobbejaantjies,  Kelkiewyn Moraeas, Romeleas and many others. The yellow and white daisies are also out in abundance

Darling Renosterveld Reserve (At top of village behind the Darling Primary School);

Darling Groenekloof Reserve (R315 alongside the SPCA premises) Park at the SPCA and enter through the small gate in the corner;

Tienie Versfeld Reserve (R315 Darling – Yzerfontein);

Contreberg (along R307 to Mamre)

– at all the above reserves visitors need to park their cars and walk in the veld

Duckitt Nurseries Wildflower Reserve – farm road through reserve (R307 Darling – Mamre – in front of Duckitt Nursery); No buses

Waylands – farm road through reserve (R307 to Mamre)

Visitors must please take care not to drive off the road in the Waylands and Duckitt Nurseries reserves as the veld is very wet and they may get stuck. No buses.

The Darling Hills road past Groote Post wine estate is looking beautiful at the moment so well worth a drive along there (gravel road but in good condition)

Wildflower game drives at Burgherspost Nature Reserve.

Leaving 9.30 every morning except Sundays and depending on the weather @ R150 pp (min. 2 people) from Cloof Cellar.

Please book two days in advance – Contact Jacques vd Merwe  Conservation Manager  Tel: 022 492 2830   Fax: 086 653 7479  Cell: 084 606 3470

e-mail: nature@cloof.co.za www.burgherspost.co.za www.cloof.co.za


Waylands Wild Flower reserve is looking really beautiful. There are lots of the White Stars and Sundews out. We saw a lot of the yellow Ixia and the little yellow Geissorhiza, as well as the very pretty Babejana that look like a Kelkiewyn. We even saw some Kelkiewyn, which is very early for them. All in all it looks as if the flowers are already out for Spring Day! The chincerinchees are out, but not yet in flower. Hopefully they will be opening by the weekend. The late Flax has started flowering, and together with the early Flax which is still out, give the veld a very pretty blue haze. This weather seems to suit the daisies very well, as they are looking particularly colourful this year.

Tienie Versfeld

Awash with white and yellow daisies as well as a large variety of bulb species.

Darling Renosterveld Reserve

Spiloxene (poublom), muggiegras (acrosanthes); sneeuvygie (pharnaceum) bokbaaivygies, yellow spiloxene; purple romulea; orange romulea; pink ixias just starting, bloukappie (sparaxis) butterfly lily (wachendorfia) will be out soon; lewertjie (indigofera); lachenalias also starting, moraeas, a few bloupypies, bontrokaandblom (hesperantha); hermannia (poproos); sandgeelgesiggie (hemimeris) Reserve is bushy and visitors must walk off the path to see best flowers – walk to right in front of reservoirs

Darling Groenekloof Reserve:

Hermannia (lanterns-Poproos), Arctotis (daisies), Drossera (Snotroesie), Chlorophytum, Moraeari tripetala (blue), Homeria flaccida (Moreaea), Indigofera (Lewertjie), Dimorphotheca pluvialis (rain daisies) , Muraltia, Arums, Lachenia, Oxalis, yellow Spiloxene – all looking good – people must walk through and around the reserve to see.

Duckitt Nurseries Reserve:

Masses of blue flax (Heliophila); white raindaisies (dimorphotheca pluvialis); yellow cape daisies; bloupypies (gladiolus gracilus); hermannia (poproos); bobbejaantjie (babiana); gifkool (chlorophytum undulatum) and in the dam rhysblommetjie (onixotis atricta)

Burgherspost Wine Estate & Cloof Wine Estate:


Bloupypies (Gladiolus carinatus) – widely distributed, one-one

Cape rain daisies (Dimorphoteca pluvialis) – starting to come out now

Botterblomme (Arctotis breviscapa) – here and there, not abundant

Babiana ambigua – a beautiful little bulb starting to flower now – never abundant, but nice to see.

Gymnodiscus capularis – weedy – loads on the old fields – tiny yellow flower

Ganskos – Cotula turbinatata – also a weedy – loads along the sides of the roads and on old fields

Sugarbush (Protea repens & Protea burchelli) – almost at the end of its season.


Geel pypies (Gladiolus trichonemifolius) – dense patch in the wetlands – smells really nice

Leipoldt-se-bobbejaantjie (Babiana leipoldtii) – Critically endangered – quite a few – one-one

Sterretjies (Spiloxene spp.) – patches here and there.

Bleek Viooltjies (Lachenalia mutabilis) – nice little bulb flowering in patches here and there.

Leucodendron lanigerum – flowers throughout the year, but looks at its best now – not a colorful shrub, but very rare and has some interesting value.


Name: Darling Wildflower Show

Date & Time: 17 – 19 September 2010

9am  – 5 pm  daily

Venue: Darling Sports Club

Admission: Adults R25 scholars R15 / Special discount for pensioners R15 ONLY on Friday

Contact detail: Enquiries 022 492 3361 info@darlingtourism.co.za

Stalls:     083 655 4237

Name: Duckitt Nurseries Orchid Show

Date & Time: 16 – 19 September 2010

Venue: Oudepost Farm

Admission: Adults R25 scholars R15 / Special discount for pensioners R15 ONLY on Thursday and Friday

Contact detail: 022 492 2606 info@duckittnurseries.com