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South Africa's wild wonders

SEE THE DESERT IN BLOOM
WHEN: July to September
WHAT: The arrival of the spring rains each year sees the Kansas-like plains of Namaqualand erupt in a sea of technicolour. Millions of seedlings lying dormant beneath the tinder-dry plains burst to life, carpeting the semi-desert region – which stretches south from the Orange River towards Cape Town – in never-ending horizons of purples, yellows and reds.
SEE: northerncape.org.za

GO KAYAKING WITH WHALES
WHEN: Mid-June to October
WHAT: The world and its dog may head to Hermanus (east of Cape Town) to see the southern right whales return from their summer feeding grounds in Antarctica, but if you venture north of the city, you can find everything from southern rights, humpbacks and killer whales to seals and dolphins just off the shore. Book on to a guided kayak-safari in Paternoster and come within an oar’s length of these marine mammals as you paddle to a nearby penguin colony. Kayak-safari costs £12.
SEE: dianneheesomgreen.co.za

BE DEAFENED BY SOUTH AFRICA’S NIAGARA
WHEN: October to January
WHAT: In 1988, when the Orange River was last in full, terrifying flood, four times as much water went thundering over the 56-metre-tall Augrabies Falls than its North American cousin – that’s a staggering 7.8 million litres of water every single second. This may have been a once-in-a-lifetime surge, but if you’re planning a visit to the “Great Noise”, as the ancient Khoikhoi people christened the falls, you’d better take earplugs.
SEE: sanparks.org.za/parks/augrabies

 

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