Spring at the CapeAfrica
South Africa is ranked as the third most biodiverse country in the world, and this owes much to the unique botany of the Cape Floral Kingdom, situated in the mountains of the southernmost tip of the continent. Although tiny compared to the world’s other floral kingdoms, it encompasses a staggering diversity of endemic plants, for example, over 650 species of Erica! The greatest range of succulents on the planet is found in the neighbouring Karoo and the world’s greatest diversity of bulbs blooms in the clays between.
Table Mountain National Park protects unique ‘fynbos’ vegetation and rare Afromontane forest. Nestled below towering cliffs is the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where exceptional horticultural displays merge with natural vegetation extending up the mountain. Endemic Cape Sugarbirds and Orange-breasted Sunbirds visit the many flowering Proteas and Ericas.
The Cape Peninsula holds more plant species than the entire British Isles, and we’ll explore the Cape Point area, where in addition to many Proteas, Ericas, Mimetes, Restios and Satyriums we’ll look for endemic Bontebok and Cape Mountain Zebra. Southern Right Whales will be calving immediately offshore, whilst on land we’ll visit an African Penguin colony. The sandy shores of the West Coast host abundant flashy Asteracaeae and on shales are a profusion of bulbs – Romuleas, Babianas and the stunning Geissorhizas.
The Nieuwoudtville area has been called the “Bulb capital of the world”. -ith over 300 species around the small town including several stunning Moraeas, we’ll find the diversity and beauty mesmerising. Ludwig’s and Karoo Bustards tread watchfully through small succulent bushes, prone to bursting into pink flower in the austral spring, while Hoodias and Bushman’s Candles light up the vast Karoo semi-deserts. The quartz plain of the Knersvlakte hosts many Stone Plants or ‘Babies Bottoms’, as they are known locally, these tiny succulents a marvel of miniaturisation. Regal Blues Cranes will be seen in the De Hoop Nature Reserve which protects the unique limestone fynbos, home to many showy species such as Protea obtusifolia.
Dates and Prices
3rd September - 18th September 2024 (16 days)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Flowers. Also Birds, Mammals and Ecology of the varied Habitats.
One leader for a group of up to 6, two leaders up to the maximum group size of 15.
All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in South Africa. Services of your leaders. Please note: items of a personal nature including travel insurance, drinks, and tips, are not included.
Flower, bird and mammal checklists are available.
We will stay at charming local guesthouses and lodges, as well as some remote farmsteads. All rooms on this tour have en-suite facilities.
Three or four miles a day, usually much less, and always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers. The terrain is mostly flat, as the best flowers occur in the valleys, but we will also explore some mountain paths.
UK return flights are direct from London Heathrow to Cape Town. Add-ons are available from various UK airports*. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Mild, with temperatures ranging from a cool 10°C early in the mornings to highs later in the day of 25-27°C. We can expect occasional rain, but it should be largely dry and sunny.
Contact us to check if there is availability for the number of places you require. Click on the ‘Book this Tour’ button on this page to be taken to the online booking form or contact us and we will send one to you which you can complete and send back to us. You will receive confirmation of your place, and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information.