South Africa is the only country in the world that can lay claim to having its own exclusive floral kingdom. The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest of the six floral kingdoms of the world, yet it has the greatest number of species. Fynbos is the name by which most of the
plants of this kingdom are known and refers to the vegetation in the shrublands of the winter rainfall area of the Western Cape. It is a hardy type of vegetation that has adapted in its own special way to the dry summer season and strong coastal winds.
The main types of fynbos plants are proteas, ericas and reeds. Generally, mountain fynbos is found in sandstone habitats and on the mountains. Coastal fynbos is found in more sandy areas, on the flats. Renosterveld grows on mountain slopes and the remnants of indigenous forests are found in mountain valleys. Milkwood thickets also occur on the western side of the Peninsula. Fynbos has something to offer all year round, but winter and spring are the times when its true beauty comes to the fore. The plants bloom with an amazing wealth of beautiful flowers, from the huge, striking king protea (South Africa’s national flower) to tiny, delicate orchids.