The annual Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show has been cancelled due to what Cederberg residents call the worst rainfall in 64 years.
Usually held around the end of August every year, the show highlights the Cederberg region’s unique floral biodiversity, with more than 400 species on show.
According to MyMatzikama, however, this year’s botanical pageant has been called off over conservation concerns.
In a statement, Alida Stone, chairman of the show’s committee, says that the ongoing drought has led to flowers blooming late in 2017. Essentially, there simply aren’t enough.
“There is no abundance this year, and we cannot just pick the flowers and plants that are there just for the sake of the show,” she says. “The conservation of the field remains our first priority.”
Speaking to MyMatzikama, conservation manager of CapeNature’s Cederberg Wilderness Area, Rika du Plessis, says that the rainfall over the first seven months of this year was the worst – comparatively – since 1953.
“The average rainfall measured at Algeria forestry station is 724 mm per year,” she says. “If we kept getting rain as we currently experience, it will not be 300 mm this year.”
All’s not lost
Stone adds, however, that other activities in Clanwilliam that usually accompany the show will go ahead as planned.
Visitors can still expect to enjoy live music, art and local shopping, while the natural beauty of the region will still be there to explore.
The Cederberg Wilderness Area is home to numerous hiking trails, streams, and even waterfalls. Even without the exuberance of the flower show, the region is still worth visiting at any time of the year.