Pollen allergies are no fun. Blocked noses, headaches and watery eyes are an inconvenience and upset the balance of everyday life. Last year, Cape Town had its highest pollen count in a decade.

Luckily, research shows that the pollen situation is not that bad this time of the year. Here is a breakdown of pollen and spore levels in South Africa’s respective cities, according to The Real Pollen Count:

Cape Town

The spore trap failed and so the findings for this week are based on the findings of the previous week and 10 years’ archived data. Tree pollen detected at this time of the year includes low levels of cypress, gum, pine and oak. Grass pollen is very low and weeds are also low and include Erica, the daisy family, nettle and rush.


Grasses were low on average but increased to moderate levels towards the end of the week. Trees were low and included the types: Cypress, gum, pine and Rhus/Searsia. Weed levels were low and included ferns, the daisy family and goosefoot. Moulds were low.


Grasses were low, trees were also low and only cypress was detected. Weeds were similarly low and included sorrel and Stoebe (slangbos). Moulds were very low.


Grasses were low at this sampling site as were trees. Only Rhus/Searsia and cypress were detected. Stoebe (slangbos) was the only weed found. Mould levels were very low.


Low scores for grasses were seen during this dry period with strong wind. Tree loads were low and just one grain of Rhus/Searsia pollen was detected. Weed pollen was low with only Artemisia (mugwort or sagebrush) detected. Moulds were very low.


Grasses were low, trees were low and included Casuarina and Saxifrage. Low weed levels included the daisy family, goosefoot, nettle, Stoebe (slangbos) and ferns. Moulds were low.

Port Elizabeth

Grasses were low. Trees were low and included the types: Pine, gum, Anacardiaceae (the sumac and cashew family, also mango) and waxberry. Low weeds were identified as the daisy family, Stoebe (slangbos) sedge and protea. Moulds were low.

Some symptoms of pollen allergies can include the following:

– Runny nose and nasal congestion

– Watery, itchy, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)

– Sneezing

– Cough

– Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat

– Swollen, blue-coloured skin under the eyes (allergic shiners)

– Postnasal drip

– Fatigue

Picture:  Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.