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Winter at the Lowveld NBG
Because of the brief and extremely mild winter, this is the most popular season for tourists. The landscape is never completely brown or bare and the rivers are at their best, clear and tranquil, bubbling quietly over the rock-strewn river beds. The weather is perfect for outdoor living --- lovely sunny days, although the air is very often heavy with smoke, as this is the time for burning fire-breaks. The Garden seems to be more open and you can see the shapes of bare trees and recognise them by their bark and branching pattern.

The enormous, decorative fruits of the Black Monkey Orange, Strychnos madagascariensis, are more blue than black. The fruit has a thick, woody shell and contains large seeds covered with bright orange flesh that is relished by both man and beast. Baboons are adept at breaking open the shells.


The distinctive bark and zig-zag branches of Pterocarpus angolensis, Transvaal Teak, are more evident in winter and make the tree easy to identify, even from a distance. The timber from this tree is extremely popular for the manufacture of furniture, bowls and ornaments. It is a slow growing tree so regeneration does not keep pace with or compensate for utilisation of the wood

This is the time of year to appreciate the trunk of the Lavender Tree, Heteropyxis natalensis.

Mean daily temperature ranges from 6șC (nights) to 24șC during the day. Very little rain falls in winter, the monthly average being 7mm.


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