Excursion Day Three: Succulent Karoo

Dressed to conquer a rainy day three, the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden greeted us with a breath-taking display of its best succulent and Nama Karoo vegetation. After a short briefing by the ACDB director, Michelle van der Bank, the third years began their mission: exploring the wonders of the 154-hectare garden.  This Botanical Garden is home to a remarkable succulent collection – just under 3 900 taxa, of which 177 species are currently on the Red Data List of threatened species. While scouting around, the students completed a study of different xerophytes adaptions to a desert environment – more specifically, their ability to restrict moisture loss. Our comparatively hydrated botanists spent a great deal of time examining the treasures of this garden before we headed back to Franschhoek Traveller’s Lodge, our home for the week, to unwind.