Some tourists are under the impression that Africa has an entirely impoverished plant population. While you will not find much by way of flora and fauna in the vast desert regions, and the grasslands can speak for themselves, one of the most beautiful characteristics of Africa is its diversity.
There is an abundance of plant life in many ecosystems, including locations in South Africa that are popular safari vacation spots. In fact, there are an astounding eight thriving terrestrial biomes and ten percent of the world’s flowering plants can be found in the region. While on your African safari vacation, do not let the animals steal all of your attention—keep your eyes open for these amazing plants.
- The Namaqualand Daisy
The Namaqualand is a dry, arid region of South Africa that bears little more than hearty grass and the animals that feed from it for most of the year. After a good rain, however, a miraculous sight can be seen. As the water is drawn into the earth, countless flowers spring forth in an abundance of colors, breathing a heavenly life into the landscape. This region stretches for 600 miles, so you might get lucky and see these flowers on your safari vacation if you choose to come during the rainy season.
- The Mystical Halfmens
There is an African legend that says the ancestors of the Bushman, driven south by enemy tribes, turned to gaze back across the Orange River and were turned into plants. The Richtersveld Halfmens stand tall, gazing towards the north forever. The mountainous desert area that they are located in is known for its succulent plants. These are particularly neat in appearance and are easy to spot.
- The Famous Baobab Tree
The Baobab tree is one of Africa’s most recognizable plant species. They can be found in several different locations across the continent as well as in Australia. This is a particularly interesting fact, as African and Australian Baobab trees separated less than 100,000 years ago. They can grow to rather large heights, and are characterized by their thick, upside down appearance. If you close your eyes and picture an African plain that includes a tree, chances are you are seeing a Baobab.
- The King Protea
The King Protea is a giant flowering plant and the national flower of South Africa. There are several different colors that blossom. They appear thick and spiny, similar to a colorful artichoke and ready to take on the harshest weather that Africa can muster. These flowers are hard to miss, as they are rather large and quite popular.
Plan Your African Safari Vacation
There is no place on Earth like Africa, where you can see the most incredible plants and animals all on one tour. While you are on your safari, try looking for these amazing plants. If you have additional questions or would like to start planning your trip, visit our safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa