Don’t wear shorts, tie your shoe laces tight, and make sure your boots have plenty of leather or other protective coverings for walking on the Rim of Africa—because you’ll be trekking as deep as it gets into the Cape Floral Kingdom—and its not always a cake-walk, to put it lightly.
With bush scratching your skin, midday sun baking the air, and sandy soil underfoot, you’re getting to know the Cape Floral Kingdom in the most intimate of experiences. The flowers, shrubs, and forests require you to come in close to see them, and when you’re bundu-bashing your way there, here’s what you need to remember…
“World’s hottest hot-spot for plant diversity and endemism ”
Floral Kingdoms are used by biologist to sort plant life into areas based on their geography and similarities of species. As you can see in the map to the left, all other Floral Kingdoms cover vast areas of land and stretch over many different countries. The tiny Cape Floral Kingdom stands out, being the only kingdom contained within one country.
In 2004, UNESCO declared the Cape Floral Kingdom a world heritage site for its “outstanding universal significance to humanity”, describing it as “one of the richest areas for plants in the world”.
5 Parts of the Cape Fold Kingdom
Cape Floral Kingdom Under Threat
1,435 species of the Cape Floral Kingdom are threatened. The challenges for conservationists include threats from agriculture development, climate change, alien/invasive species, and the growth of urban and rural communities. Agricultural development has significantly decimated renosterveld habitats, with only 4% of original renosterveld remaining and only 2% formally protected.
The combination of ecological significance and conservation stress motivates the Rim of Africa to work for the elevation of conservation statuses of mountain land and encourage people to visit the Cape Floral Kingdom. Their idea is once you walk through the scratchy bush and discover the beauty within the Cape Floral Kingdom, you’ll find value in its wild treasures and support protection efforts.