A flower filled day in the countryside
As famous and well known as the Namaqualand spring flower extravaganza is, then as unknown and unheard of is the wonderland of the Eastern Cape’s flowering Aloe display.
This is a tour that uses the brilliance of the flowering aloes to join the dots on a tour of the Eastern Country districts of the Eastern Cape. A flower filled day in the countryside.
This is a winter tour as it is only at this time of the year, June through to August that the wide spread and spectacular display of wild Aloes takes place. A time of the year when most plants are hibernating, either having lost their leaves and flowers to await the new spring in their dull winter overcoats or await shrouded in a coat of autumn browns and oranges for the new sap to produce the abundant new growth of spring.
It is at this time of the year when the succulent Aloes buck the trend and burst forth in a brilliance of colour that at times changes the complexion of an entire landscape while at others they add a splash of colour to the mundane winter landscape. These flashes of brilliance are found throughout the Eastern Cape and beyond and attract a large number of different species of birds, monkeys, baboons and even children from the local communities who relish the sweet nectar provided in such abundance by the flowers of these spectacular and important plants.
8:30 am up at place of residence in Port Elizabeth we head north east out of Port Elizabeth towards the Addo Elephant National Park travelling on the western perimeter of this famous wildlife refuge.
Here we come across a landscape filled with the lovely Coral Aloes, Aloe striata, a low growing grey coloured aloe with a flat crown of coral pink blooms that brighten the dull landscape. From here we continue for a short drive through Addo Elephant National Park and exit into the historical Albany district, where we travel through lush Albany thicket spotting stands of tall shade loving Aloe pluridens and Aloe ferox, the Bitter Aloe, with its bright orange, multi stemmed inflorescence.
Reaching the N10 we continue to the base of the pass before turning off for more Eastern Cape gravel travel as we wind our way through many of the private game reserves that conserve the fauna and flora of this area. This is a historic area and we pass many delightful old farm houses with the inevitable quaint village church keeping an eye on the local brethren. Here we keep watch on the veld for the many species of antelope, giraffe and Zebra as well as the occasional elephant and any animal birds or reptile that care to show themselves in this game rich countryside.
Arriving on the back roads through, rugged landscapes at the historic, university City of Grahamstown, we stop for a deserved lunch break before taking in a number of the special buildings and sites and monuments to the early farmers (Boers) and settlers of this important centre.
We continue to a beautiful stand of Aloe ferox on the road side before returning to Grahamstown to descend down into some of the valleys that where home to the early settlers and places that ignited the spark to flame yet another war between the British and the Xhosa warriors in this area before arriving at the historical town of Bathurst and onto Port Alfred before taking the picturesque coastal route back to Port Elizabeth and your accommodation.
· Guided tour
· Light lunch
· Bottled water in tour vehicle
Rate per person: R 2200.00
Minimum two persons
Rate valid until 31.10.2020
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