South African Landscapes

These landscapes were photographed in the Northern (western region) and Western Cape provinces during November and December of 2011. This roughly corresponds to late Spring/early Summer weather in the Northern hemisphere. The climate in the western half of South Africa is dry and somewhat like Southern California, whereas the eastern half has humid and tropical regions.
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Driving south on the Cape peninsula, this jagged configuration of rocks brought to mind a stand-up comedian made of stone. In the background lies the cold waters of the Atlantic.

Driving south on the Cape peninsula, this jagged configuration of rocks brought to mind a stand-up comedian made of stone. In the background lies the cold waters of the Atlantic.

A spectactular view of the Atlantic Ocean and a part of Cape Town from atop the famous Table Mountain.

A spectactular view of the Atlantic Ocean and a part of Cape Town from atop the famous Table Mountain.

A "karoo" is a dry, desert-like area in South Africa. This photo was taken high in the hills of the Little Karoo in the Western Cape Province.

A "karoo" is a dry, desert-like area in South Africa. This photo was taken high in the hills of the Little Karoo in the Western Cape Province.

Cape Town's Table Mountain has its own unique microclimate. Part of it is a cloud cover attracted to the upper part of the mountain.

Cape Town's Table Mountain has its own unique microclimate. Part of it is a cloud cover attracted to the upper part of the mountain.

High in a hilly region of Namaqualand, in South Africa's Northern Cape province, looking down. Namaqualand is carpeted in a dazzling array of wildflowers in the Spring; at most other times, it's a dry, hot, somewhat hostile region. Since my visit was in the late Spring/early Summer, I missed the wildflowers, but did get some phenomenal views of this harsh terrain.

High in a hilly region of Namaqualand, in South Africa's Northern Cape province, looking down. Namaqualand is carpeted in a dazzling array of wildflowers in the Spring; at most other times, it's a dry, hot, somewhat hostile region. Since my visit was in the late Spring/early Summer, I missed the wildflowers, but did get some phenomenal views of this harsh terrain.

High in the hills of the Swartberg Mountains, in the Western Cape Province.

High in the hills of the Swartberg Mountains, in the Western Cape Province.

Heading north, my guide André and I took an off-the-map side excursion into a little known area called the "poison mountains." They received this name long ago from Boer trekkers who discovered that water running over the rocks accumulated poison, because animals that drank it soon met their maker. The rock formations and views were just spectacular. This region was located close to border of the Northern Cape Province.

Heading north, my guide André and I took an off-the-map side excursion into a little known area called the "poison mountains." They received this name long ago from Boer trekkers who discovered that water running over the rocks accumulated poison, because animals that drank it soon met their maker. The rock formations and views were just spectacular. This region was located close to border of the Northern Cape Province.

On a dreary afternoon, a surprising richness of color appears on this hillside shot on the Cape pensinsula.

On a dreary afternoon, a surprising richness of color appears on this hillside shot on the Cape pensinsula.

Stormy landscape near Betty's Bay.

Stormy landscape near Betty's Bay.

On the way to the Northern Cape Province, this enormous hill looked like millions of small rocks held together by an unknown form of magnetism.

On the way to the Northern Cape Province, this enormous hill looked like millions of small rocks held together by an unknown form of magnetism.

This inlet is near the southernmost region of South Africa. If you look closely, you can see some penguins on the large rock in the center.

This inlet is near the southernmost region of South Africa. If you look closely, you can see some penguins on the large rock in the center.

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