Waylands Wild Flower Reserve
Waylands Wild Flower Reserve - Southern Africa : Situated on the R307 6km south of Darling. The Waylands Wild Flower Reserve was set aside as 80 ha of veld by Wilfred Duckitt in 1933. The Duckitts have been associated with flowers since the farm has been in the Duckitt family - for six generations si
Situated on the R307 6km south of Darling.
The Waylands Wild Flower Reserve was set aside as 80 ha of veld by Wilfred Duckitt in 1933. The Duckitts have been associated with flowers since the farm has been in the Duckitt family - for six generations since 1865. In 1917 Frederick Duckitt and Mrs Malan started the Darling Wild Flower Show, and in 1922 Frederick Duckitt gave his permission for the public to stop and view the spectacular spring wildflowers in bloom. In 1952 Frederick William (jr), built a road to allow the public to drive through the reserve (or was it 1938 by Wilfred? - accounts vary).
The veld has been managed traditionally for the last 150 years. Nguni Cattle and Merino Sheep are allowed to graze throughout summer, but removed in late autumn with the onset of the rains. The plants are allowed to grow and flower and set seed. At the beginning of summer, after the last species have seeded, the cattle and sheep are allowed in to graze. Occasional autumn burning of the veld, prevents encroachment of unpalatable and poisonous species, revitalizes the shrubs, and opens the area to encourage growth and flowering of annuals and bulbs.
Visitors have been allowed access to the spectacular spring display of about 300 wild flower species every season for almost 100 years. The flowers are at their best from late August to the end of September, peaking in the first two weeks of the austral spring, although this varies depending on rainfall and temperature. There is a succession of species through the spring season, so that not all species will be seen in flower on any one visit.
Visitors may keep to the beaten track or get stuck in the vlei (not recommended), or enjoy a walk through the veld. Come prepared for biting flies and midges, but it is worth it. Picnicking is possible, but there are no facilities.
Mammals still present in the area include Porcupine, Caracal, Wild Cat, genets, mongoose, Red Meerkat, Batear Fox, Cape Silver Fox, Honey Badger, Steenbuck, Duiker, Cape Clawless Otters, and many rodents and bats.
A bird list is available.