autumn/fall winter summer spring
Summer at the Karoo Desert NBG
Summers are traditionally hot and dry - typically Mediterranean. The cooling winds that blow through the Gardens are known as south-westers. If it were not for these winds, the searing heat would burn all living things to a crisp. Maximum temperatures in summer can be as high as 44C. Very little rain, if any, falls in this dry Mediterranean area during the summer months. If and when rain falls, it arrives in the form of thunder showers. Only one or two thunder storms are experienced per year.
Weird and interesting plants worth seeing in summer are the architectural caudiciform plants, (plants with swollen stems or exposed root stocks), such as: Cyphostemma juttea (Namibian wild grape), Tylecodon paniculatus (botterboom/butter tree), adeniums (impala lilies or sabie stars), othonnas, senecios, and many others.
This is the time of year the Schotia afra var. afra (Karooboerboon) is in flower, attracting many nectar seeking birds.
Late October sees the flowering of the tamboekie thorn ( Erythrina acanthocarpa), which only occurs naturally in one district in the Eastern Cape.

The landscape at the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is arid-like, with a lunar appearance. The strange and wonderful desert plants in this arid landscape look like aliens from another planet. Here, the word "desert" takes on its true meaning!

Sunrise is at 05:00 and sunset is at 09:00 in mid- summer. Please be sure to wear a hat and use sun screen. Also, drink plenty of fluids if walking the trails.


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