Hluhluwe is South Africa’s pineapple growing capital. The region produces 90% of the fresh eating pineapples of South Africa. The variety of pineapple grown in Hluhluwe is the Queen Pineapple. The Eastern Cape is the other major pineapple producing region, where Cayenne pineapples are grown.
Queen pineapples originate from South America and were first brought to South Africa in 1655 and grown in KwaZulu Natal in 1860. The fruits were once a vital source of vitamin C on sailing ships, which helped prevent scurvy.
Pineapple production in Hluhluwe
Queen pineapples are produced year round in KwaZulu Natal with the best production months falling between October and April. Pineapples grow best in places with hot and humid climates and frost-free winters, making Hluhluwe an ideal location for pineapple farming. KwaZulu Natal’s high levels of sunshine also contribute to sweeter fruit.
Pineapples take between 18 to 20 months to mature and are picked just before they reach peak maturity. The sweetest, juiciest pineapples are harvested in the summer months in South Africa – a good thing to remember when buying fresh pineapples in this vibrant area.
Take a tour of one of the most established farms in the area, Badenhorst Farm and learn everything there is to know about growing pineapples.
Interesting facts about pineapples:
- They regenerate! You can plant leaves to grow a new plant
- They contain an enzyme which tenderises meat
- Hawaii produces about a third of the world’s pineapples
- Pineapples take about 18 months to be ready to eat
- A pineapple is the only edible bromeliad
- Pineapples ripen faster upside down!
- Pineapple plants have really pretty flowers
- Once harvested, they don’t continue to ripen
- Christopher Columbus first brought the fruit back to Europe in 1493
Hluhluwe Pineapple tours last approximately 90 minutes and include fresh pineapple juice tastings and pineapple samples. We recommend nearby tours at Badenhorst Farm.
For more ideas for things to do in Hluhluwe or near Lake St Lucia, browse our blog or activities on our website. Nibela Lake Lodge is centrally positioned within easy reach of excellent game viewing, birding, cultural tours and more. Simply get in touch with us here.