George studied botany at the University of Washington where he was introduced to the succulent of southern Africa. He started to study and collect different varieties of succulents but became particularly interested in the plants of South Africa. He has been a member of Ascelpias society and collected many of the various small succulents such as lithops. We mapped out where they had been collected and hoped that sometime we would be able to visit the country.
We finally had an opportunity to visit in 2005. We choose to travel in September hoping we could see the blooming the of veld. Researching on the web and talking with friends, we were able to determine that we could do it as independent travelers.
We flew into Capetown and visited Kirstenbosch Gardens. Next we picked up a car and drove north. to the veld of the western Cape. Our first stop was at Bushmans Kloof to celebrate our anniversary. It was wonderful.
We moved on to the goregous orange fields around Springbok. We did a day tour of Richtersveld with Virosa Tours. Next up were the wonderful bulbs and wildflowers of Nieuwouldtville . We stayed at Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm and visited Glen Lyon Farm to learn more about the ecology of the agea.
We returned for a week in Cape Town and stayed at Clarkia Guest Cottage. We did day trips to the wine region of Stellenborsch, wildflowers of the Darling area, Karoo Botanical Garden in Worcester, Cape of Good Hope and Penquins of Boulders Beach and a lovely drive to Hermanus and a stop at Harold Porter Botanical Garden.
We couldn't leave Southern Africa without doing a safari. We flew to Namibia and drove to Etosha where we spent 3 days driving the dusty roads in search of game. What a wonderful park. We then headed to the sand dunes at Sossusvlei stopping at the beautiful stone desert area of Erongo and the coast at Swapkopmund. On the way to Sossusvlei , we also had a chance to Welwitschia one of the oldest plant species.