On the road

The N1 leads from the Musina borderpost in the North-East to Cape Town in the South-West of South Africa. It is a highway that traverses many different kinds of landscape. After Bloemfontein, the dry, hilly steppes of the Karoo give endless views over an empty land.

King protea

The king protea has the largest flower of the protea family, and is the national flower of South Africa. It grows on a woody shrub that grows between 1 and 2 meters high. The plant is adapted to the wildfires that often rage through its habitat by a thick stem that remains underground. After a fire, the shrub resproutes from that stem.
Photo taken in Van Staden’s Wild Flower Reserve.

Ostrich in a field with purple flowers

A male ostrich is foraging between the purple flowers of the pompom weed. Pompom weed has been called an ‘evil beauty’. It makes the fields look beautiful, but in fact it is an invasive plant that threatens indigenous grasslands. It makes me wonder how we define beauty… Now that I now that this plant is a threat, I look at it in a different way. Somehow, beauty seems to be informed by knowledge as well as aesthetical value!
Photo taken in Rietvlei Nature Reserve
Nikon d750, 420mm, f4, 1/1000, ISO 100.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Hornbills are birds with huge bills that can account for up to 1/6th of the entire body length. Because of their large beak, the hornbill can’t see very well what is right in front of them. They will often search for food on the ground, overturning twigs and leaves to find insects.
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park