Renosterveld
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The renosterveld is one of the richest ecosystems in the world, home to an extraordinary diversity of bulbous plants. Unfortunately, because its shale-derived soils are so fertile, it was also where most of the Cape’s burgeoning agricultural sector developed, with monocultural crops like wheat, barley, oats, and various kinds of fodder rapidly replacing renosterveld’s 1 700-plus indigenous plants. These include … Read More

Marine biodiversity in the Fynbos region
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Often overlooked in the awe and wonder that the terrestrial species evoke is the equally remarkable and spectacular marine biodiversity that surrounds the Table Mountain chain. This is because two ocean current systems meet and merge off its southern tip – the cold Benguela current in the west and the warm, fast-flowing Agulhas current from the east and south-east. Each … Read More

Animals of the Fynbos region
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While its plants have, understandably, commanded most attention, the Fynbos region also contains several categories of the animal kingdom that are equally significant in global biodiversity terms. Because of its nutrient-poor soils, fynbos supports few big mammals, and its bird-life is not particularly spectacular, with just six endemics. But the insects, reptiles and amphibians are also unique and fascinating, as … Read More

Fynbos
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Fynbos is not easy to define, but it is essentially a term for an evergreen, hard-leafed shrubland vegetation type, or collection of plants, that is primarily associated with nutrient-poor soils and often, though not exclusively, with a winter-rainfall Mediterranean-type climate. It is characterised by four elements – protea shrubs, ericas or heaths, restios or Cape reeds, and geophytes or bulbous … Read More