South Africa is home to an extraordinary natural phenomenon known as the super bloom, where thousands of wildflower species burst into vibrant colors across the arid landscape. This annual event, occurring in August and September, offers travelers a breathtaking experience along the famed Wildflower Route—a 500-mile drive through the Western and Northern Cape provinces. From Cape Town to the Diamond Coast, this scenic journey takes visitors through national parks, reserves, and botanical gardens, showcasing the best wildflower views in the country.
Capturing the Colors
Maine-based photojournalist Greta Rybus embarked on a weeklong adventure to capture the mesmerizing fields of flora during the super bloom. Along the way, she met with passionate naturalists and field rangers who shared their insights and knowledge of South Africa’s unique plant life. From the Hantam National Botanical Garden, renowned for its diverse flower species, to the Namaqua National Park, where Namaqualand daisies paint the landscape in vibrant orange, yellow, and off-white hues, Rybus immersed herself in the beauty and community spirit surrounding this remarkable event.
Preserving Nature’s Masterpiece
Amidst the splendor of the super bloom, dedicated individuals work tirelessly to protect and preserve this natural treasure. From the Wildflower Club at the Clanwilliam Wildflower Festival, which replants local flora for the community’s enjoyment, to field rangers in West Coast National Park who safeguard rare plants and ward off poachers, these unsung heroes play a crucial role in ensuring the longevity of South Africa’s wildflower displays.
Beyond the Blooms
While the super bloom takes center stage, South Africa’s Western and Northern Cape provinces offer much more to explore. From the ancient rock art of the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve in the Cederberg Mountains to the bulb-rich Hantam National Botanical Gardens in Nieuwoudtville, there are endless wonders to behold. Visitors can witness the celestial beauty of starry nights, delve into the region’s rich cultural heritage, and immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring landscapes that make South Africa a truly remarkable destination.
The capital city of Thailand, Bangkok, is a bustling and fascinating place. It’s the kind of city you could spend months exploring and still not see all there is to see. However, there are some must-visit spots for those who don’t have months to soak it all up. Here are just five of the best!
The Grand Palace
When the capital moved from Thonburi to Bangkok, the Grand Palace was built to become the official residence of King Rama I. While it’s still technically the official residence of the king, he doesn’t actually live there anymore. However, this stunning piece of architecture is a must-see for anyone in Bangkok.
Khao San Road
What used to be the hub of backpackers since the 1980s is now a tourist hotspot, filled with bars, hawkers, and street stalls. If you really want to experience the chaotic hustle and bustle of Bangkok, then it would be criminal not to experience Khao San Road. Grab yourself something to eat and drink, then watch the world go by.
Cruise along Chao Phraya River
If you want to see Bangkok from a whole new perspective, jump aboard a boat and cruise along the Chao Phraya River. You’ll find plenty of river cruises available, although some are quite expensive. If you want a cheaper option, hop on a water taxi for a few bucks.
Explore the floating markets
Sure, it may be another cliche tourist attraction, but you can’t visit Bangkok without at least taking a peek at the floating markets. Khlong Lat Mayom and Taling Chan are the most popular ones, with Taling Chan being the busiest.
Visit the Temples
The temples in Bangkok are a unique part of the culture of this city, so you must try and squeeze at least a few of the hundreds there are to see. Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun are three of the best to visit.
So, which hotspot is first on your list?