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Photographer's Note

Each year the wild flowers appear from late March to October, and peak in August and September. In the centre of this floral phenomenon lies the historical settlement of Nieuwoudtville, the base from which to explore the numerous other attractions in the area.

The locals have proudly dubbed it “the bulb capital of the world”, and they aren’t kidding. There are bulbs everywhere - in gardens, farmyards and fields, along the roadsides and hidden in every nook and cranny. But we’re not talking light bulbs, bulbous bows or the business ends of thermometers, oh no ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking Ixia, Sparaxis, Gladiolus, Tritonia et al - the largest variety of indigenous bulbous plants in the world and an annual flower bonanza that draws botanists, photographers and tourists from all around the world.

In the spring of each year, this rich Bokkeveld area erupts into colour as the myriad bulbs and wild flowers bloom, carpeting the earth in bright pinks, lavish purples and summery yellows as far as the eye can see. While this area spends much of it’s year as a hot, dry and barren land, it comes to life as the winter chill recedes from the mountains and the late rains nourish the ground.

The Bokkeveld, Boesmanland, Hantam and Knersvlakte regions all converge here, and these four unique plant biomes create a botanical marvel that enjoys world wide recognition. The varying vegetation, height above sea level and fluctuation in precipitation create a huge number of micro habitats as well as some magnificent landscapes. Each year the wild flowers appear from late March to October, and peak in August and September.

In the centre of this floral phenomenon lies the historical settlement of Nieuwoudtville, the base from which to explore the numerous other attractions in the area. Besides the obvious appeal of the flowers, the town and surrounds are known for their hospitality, vast vistas and the spectacular Nieuwoudtville Falls on the nearby Doring River. Bird watching, hiking, cycling, rock art and historical sites abound, and apparently the lamb from the local butchery alone is worth the four hour drive from Cape Town.

Nieuwoudtville itself is a quiet little farming hamlet, consisting of little more than a cluster of low buildings around a dusty main road and beautiful sandstone church, which was built shortly after the Anglo-Boer war in 1906 and is now an historical monument. Extensive sheep farms surround the town, stretching out across the low, rugged hills and wide valleys.

quote from Graeme Field

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 57 W: 0 N: 181] (1321)
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