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Blooming dales

If you thought the Netherlands was the bulb capital of the world, think again. Follow the Northern Cape’s colour-popping wild flower route in spring

A box of M&Ms, a Pixar movie, a dazzling paint chart? How do you describe the eye-watering colours of the gorgeous flowers spread before us? They stretch as far as the eye can see — Fanta orange, fuchsia pink, sunshine yellow, sky blue, violet, vivid purple and, every now and then, big hits of brilliant white. Yes, this really is South Africa’s arid Northern Cape region, but not as you know it. Watered by good winter rains, the vast, barren landscape has become vibrant, clashing, blooming dales.

It’s not the first time we’ve experienced this amazing transformation, but this season has to be one of the best spring flower shows we’ve witnessed. What better place to begin our trip than the bulb capital of the world? Nieuwoudtville — never heard of it? Neither had we until we stumbled across the endless swathes of colour lining the road one year when we were driving from the Kalahari to Cape Town. How could wild flowers have such intense shades? We had to see more of the ‘Serengeti of the floral kingdom’ and today, several springs later, we’re back for another fix.

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About Travel Africa

50 Secrets about Botswana • Riding in the Pearl of Africa • Walking with camels in northern Kenya • Diving Lake Malawi • Portraits of Addis Ababa • Tanzania's Lake Natron • Lions in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park • Namibia's Etosha National Park • South Africa's wild flower route in spring... and much more!
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