Dates & Prices

BOOK NOW

Dates: December 2021

Price: £TBA

Single Room Supplement: £TBA

Deposit: £TBA per person


Price Includes: All meals, accommodation with private facilities, ground transport, services of the guides, holiday report & a donation to a wildlife charity

Not Included: Flights, travel insurance, drinks and any other personal items

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits donated to charity

Leaders: Frank Gaude (local guide) & Yiannis Christofides

Languages: Guiding in English and German

Group Size: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 guests plus 2 leaders.

Holiday Highlights


BOOK NOW

New for 2020! Come to the Cape Floral Kingdom and discover some of its amazing orchids and other plants!

The Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, is an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism, and is home to over 9,000 vascular plant species, This bio-diversity is associated with fynbos, a Mediterranean  type biome of woodlands and scrub. Central to this is fire which clears areas every now and then, stimulating the flowering of orchids and bulbs.

Home to the fynbos is a set of extraordinary orchids belonging to the genus Disa. For terrestrial orchids members of the Disa genus  rival epiphytic orchids in variety and colour.  The genus comprises about 180 species indigenous to tropical and southern Africa, with a few more in the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar and Réunion. A large number occur in a small area in the Western Cape of South Africa’; some are common whilst others are rare and their appearance depends on fire. Their habitat can be mountain streams or bare rocky terrain

Disa exhibit similarities with the genus Ophrys as regard to their pollination mechanism. Each species of Disa usually has a single species as pollinator. They employ a large range of pollinating insects such as  butterflies, carpenter bees whilst night-scented flowers are  pollinated by moths. Some Disa species are pollinated by sunbirds and have pollinaria that stick to the feet of the sunbirds when they perch on the inflorescence.

Our task during this holiday is to see some of the commoner species and also to look for some of the rarer ones. We will see a selection of the following species, including the iconic Red Disa. We hope to see the commoner species such as  Disa cornuta, D. cylindrica, D. filiformis, D. inflexa, D. ophrydea and look for the rarer  D. elegans, D. minor.

Many species depend on fire for flowering and this may vary from year to year, so we shall keep the itinerary flexible to visit areas that have recently been burned. Some of these areas we may not have visited during the research undertaken for the trip.

Acrophia is another genus where appearance of the orchids depends on fire. We shall look for species such as Acrophia capensis, Acrophia cochlearis and other members of the genus in coastal sands and fynbos. Similarly reliant on fire are members of the Ceratantha genus such as Ceratantha  globosa and Ceratandra harveyana and members of the Holothrix genus which we shall also look for.

We shall also search for the extraordinary Bartholina etheliea  and members of the Corycium genus such as Corycium carnosum, pollinated by oil-collecting bees and Orthochilus, Pterygonium  and Satyrium species

We shall visit some of the areas representative habitats such as Fynbos and Afro-temperate forest, and National Parks such as Table Mountain, Kogelberg and Fernkoolf National Park.

Table Mountain National Park forms part of the Cape Floristic Region and as such supports a high diversity of flora.  The Kogelberg Nature Reserve is  located in the Kogelberg Mountains, on the eastern edge of Cape Town and protects a significant portion of Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos. The Kogelberg mountains  have a floral diversity per unit area that is greater than anywhere else in the world. On our travels we shall see examples of other plant families such as Protea, Erica and many bulbous plants.

Weather:

Passport requirements: Please ensure you have at least 2 – 3 blank pages in your passport as you will be denied entry to South Africa unless you have 1 blank page, and you need space for the visit to Lesotho. UK passport holders do not need a visa to enter South Africa or Lesotho but if you are traveling on the passport of another country then please check the requirements

Health and fitness:

Languages: The guides are native and/or fluent speakers in English, German and Greek.

This promises to be a fantastic and very popular tour – we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment!

    

Day 1 

Day 2: 

Day 3:

 Day 4:

Day 5:

Day 6: 

Day 7:

Day 8:

Day 9:

Day 10:

Day 11: 

Day 12: 

Day 13: 

Day 14:

New holiday – testimonials will appear next year

New holiday – report will follow later