22 March 2009

Bontebok National Park

Date: 17 March 2009

Location: Bontebok National Park, near Swellendam. Map here.

Walkers: Helen and Dorothy

This small national park is only a few kilometres from Swellendam, but it felt like another world when we visited on a cool and cloudy morning. The vegetation here is fynbos and coastal Renosterveld. It seemed very open and empty, and very dry indeed. The whole area has been suffering from drought for quite a few months.

(Photo by Dorothy) (Photos by Helen)

We drove around for a while, saw a few bontebok and zebra in the distance, and stopped to look at some extraordinary Brunsvigia flowers.

(Photo by Dorothy) (Photo by Helen)

We then made our way to the start of the walking trails. The routes were well sign-posted... and even colour-coded!

(Photos by Helen)

First we did the Acacia Trail, which as its name suggests, led us through a patch of thorny acacia trees. There were also plenty of aloes. It all looked very grey and soft sage-green.

(Photos by Helen)

The only splash of colour we saw was a single stem of pink March lilies.

(Photo by Helen)

We proceed on to the Aloe Hill Trail, with a short climb to the top of the hill.

(Photos by Helen)

From here we could see the Breede River below, and the Langeberg.

(Photo by Helen)

There were lots of interesting plants to be seen on the hillside.

(Photos by Helen)

We then made our way down to the river. The path meandered through the thicker bush alongside the water.

(Photo by Dorothy) (Photo by Helen)

This was shrubby vegetation and many bushes had berries and seed pods.

(Photos by Helen) (Photo by Dorothy)

We climbed a little to get a better view of the Breede River.

(Photos by Dorothy) (Photo by Helen)

On the rocky cliffs there were many striking aloes and succulent plants.

(Photos by Helen)

Our last walk was a section of the Bushbuck Trail (most of the trail was closed as a result of damage to the path from the floods last year). We made our way to the tranquil viewing deck, and then back to the start.

(Photo by Helen) (Photo by Dorothy)

On our way out of the reserve we went through an area of bright lime green leucodendrons. We really enjoyed our visit to Bontebok!

(Photos by Helen)


Anonymous said...

Thank you amazing blog, do you have twitter, facebook or something similar where i can follow your blog

Sandro Heckler

Helen said...

Thanks Sandro.

No twitter or facebook for this blog I'm afraid, but you can subscribe by RSS or email or 'follow'. See midway on the right side-bar.