[For many more wild flower pictures of our trip in the Western Cape, go to Facebook AfricaAnswerMan.] Think about Africa. Then think about flowers. Must be spring and must be super-grand!
We have three days left on our wild flower tour of the western Cape and I’m not sure we won’t soon all explode into sparkling pixels. It’s really unbelievable this year!
Spring in the western Cape bests anything you might see in western Australia, which is itself a marvel to experience. But this year everything went right. The winter was cold. There was a dry period followed by lots of rain. It got cold, again, and then just for us the sun came out and the blooms covered the veld!
What’s even more wonderful is that this being such a unique floral system, these are not flowers naturally found anywhere else on earth. Thousands of them. Thousands of kinds of them. Well to be more exact, roughly 9000 vascular plans of which 6300 are endemic. Almost all the wild flowers are endemic.
Most of them are much bigger than wild flowers found in the northern hemisphere, although today in the Darling reserve we saw the tinier varieties which in size are more similar to ours.
We left Cape Town in our “beast” safari vehicle, which will allow us to travel backroads among fields rarely seen. First we went to the West Coast National Park where we did see zebra, baboons, lots of birds, beautiful coastline, bontebok, eland and Cape zebra, but the highlight is the spring wildflowers!
We spent the next two nights in Darling, a cute town about an hour from Cape Town. In addition to the wild flowers we had a special tour of the Darling Duckett Orchids, where more than 600,000 orchids are cultivated for export.
So the color we’re experiencing is kind of unimaginable. But so incredibly beautiful, intricate and fabulous.
Stay tuned! Believe it or not, there’s more!