• Take a rare springtime journey into the world’s most diverse arid environment, discovering its dramatic natural beauty and its botanical richness
• Uncover a staggering array of bulbs, succulents and daisies, most endemic to this area
• Look out for the birdlife of the region, and wildlife including zebra and eland
Depart London Heathrow 2135 on British Airways.
Arrive Cape Town 1000 and transfer to Portswood Hotel for two nights. Afternoon visits to Company’s Garden and Sea Point (Darwin plaque, geology and landscape of Cape Town and the Western Cape). Introductory lecture.
Cable car up Table Mountain (conditions permitting). Afternoon: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (established in 1913 and one of the finest botanic gardens in the world) for an introduction to South Africa's flowers.
Drive north along the coast via Darling Village Renosterveld Reserve, Tienie Versfeld Reserve, West Coast National Park and Postberg Nature Reserve (carpets of brilliant daisies and bulbs). Overnight in Langebaan at Windtown Hotel.
Continue north to Rocherpan Nature Reserve (coastal reserve for 'sandveld' wildflowers and water birds). Afternoon: drive via Elands Bay to Lambert’s Bay (for Bird Island Cape gannet colony and nesting cormorant species). Overnight at the Letsatsi Lodge, Vanrhynsdorp. Evening lecture.
Further north via Kamieskroon to Skilpad Wildflower Gardens. Afternoon drive to explore the flowers and stunning scenery of Namaqua National Park towards Springbok. Two nights at the Kleinplasie Guest House.
Visits from Springbok: Goegap Nature Reserve (granite peaks, sandy plains, endemic succulents and wildlife) and the Concordia area (flower fields).
Drive south to Kamieskroon and east into the Kamiesberg Mountains and the remote historical settlement of Leliefontein (endemic flowers, geology). Afternoon drive to Garies and on to Vanrhynsdorp. Three nights at the Letsatsi Lodge, Vanrhynsdorp. Evening lecture.
Morning: Hantam National Botanical Garden and Nieuwoudtville Wildflower Reserve. Afternoon visits to nearby waterfall and the Kokerboom (Quiver Tree) Forest; return via the Bokkeveld Escarpment.
Morning visit to Knersvlakte Nature Reserve for succulents, followed by Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve (dramatic, mountainous landscape, dissected by gorges). Afternoon: to a 350 million year old Glacial Pavement (rich in bulbs and succulents) and on through arid farmland (rare birds and flowers) to Papkuilsfontein farm for tea.
Depart south for Ramskop Wild Flower Garden at Clanwilliam. Throught the Pakhuis Pass, Cederberg Mountains, to the Sevilla Rock Art trail beside the Brandewyn River (many endemic flowers). Overnight at Citrusdal Country Lodge. Evening lecture.
Journey south through mountains and fruit orchards to Worcester via Middelberg, Gydo and Michel’s Passes. Afternoon: Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens. Overnight at the Tulbagh Heritage Hotel.
Continue south to see mountain fynbos in Bain’s Kloof Pass and on Paarl Mountain. Drive to Franschhoek (passing Victor Verster Prison). Overnight at the Protea Hotel, Franschhoek. Evening lecture.
Depart via Franschhoek Pass and Grabouw (a huge fruit-producing region) to Sir Lowry’s Pass in the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Wine tasting and lunch at Neethlingshof (Lord Neethling Restaurant). Depart Cape Town 1930.
Arrive Heathrow 0650.