Euphorbia mauritanica (Melkbos) Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve July 2009
Haworthia pumila Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve July 2009
Struthio camelus (Ostrich) with Langeberg Mountains in the distance at Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve July 2009
Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve July 2009
Klein karoo & the Elandsberg Mountains Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve July 2009
In July of 2009 I spent 24 days in the Western Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa (RSA). As you probably know, July is a winter month in the Southern Hemisphere, corresponding to January in the Northern Hemisphere. But it is January as you might experience it in southern California. The Western Cape Province has a Mediterranean climate. It is dry in summer & rains in winter. After 6 mostly rainy days in Cape Town, 6 mostly sunny days in the beach town of Hermanus, 6 days of variable weather in the small town of Bredasdorp on the Agulhas Plain, I spent 6 warm & sunny days in Swellendam.
On my 2nd day in Swellendam I visited Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve, following the Rooikat Trail. From the SA-Venues website: Set in a part of the country known as the arid Robertson Karoo, the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve lies in the Breede River Valley. Given the name of the nature reserve - Vrolijkheid means happiness - this must have been the site of much gaiety in the past, and it certainly remains the focus of pleasure in the heart of the Little Karoo, where it gives much pleasure to visitors - the beauty of the landscape dominated by succulents, dwarf trees and shrubs like the melkbos. The valley is surrounded by high mountain peaks, often shrouded in mist, which makes hiking, walking or just general rambles through the rugged landscape a favourite pastime for all who come here. A circular hike, known as the Rooikat Trail, meanders up around the Elandsberg Mountains and can take up to eight hours.