Fynbos & the Cape Floral Kingdom

Fynbos is a wonder of the natural world. Not content merely to eke out an existence in the unlikeliest of environments - where the landscape is parched in summer and drenched in winter, where soils are nutrient-starved and where fires frequently rage - this unique vegetation is exuberant in its floral diversity. Nowhere else on earth are so many plant species crammed into such a small area.

Richard Cowling, Fynbos South Africa's Unique Floral Kingdom

The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the world’s most precious natural assets. So special that it has been designated as one of the world’s six plant kingdoms, alongside for instance, the Boreal Forest Kingdom which covers most of the northern land masses of Europe, Asia and North America. It is the smallest Floral Kingdom in the world and is in a league of its own. The Cape Floral Kingdom contains 526 of the world’s 740 erica species, 96 out of the world’s 160 gladiolus species and 69 proteas out of 112 in the world. The Cape Floral Kingdom covers an area of less than 90 000 square kilometres and hosts about 8 500 plant species. To put this into perspective, the British Isles, three and a half times larger, have only 1 500 plants and less than 20 of those are endemic. Fynbos makes up four-fifths of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Other non-fynbos vegetation types in the Kingdom are renosterveld, subtropical thicket, succulent karoo and afromontane forest.

Unique fynbos vegetation in Western Cape South Africa

Fynbos is the term given to a collection of plants that is dominated by shrubland and is uniquely characterised by restioids (reeds). It is only when you experience fynbos at close hand that you discover the rich variety of its exquisite flowers and grasses. Fynbos comes in many forms and one of the reasons for the huge number of species is the way this vegetation varies in different habitats. It is the diversity of its plants that is the most intriguing feature of fynbos.

This fascinating botanical wonderland is a delight to explore. We will arrange walks through the fynbos and visits to fynbos farms for you, or you could also explore the fynbos on horse back or fat bike.