Thursday, 29. June 2017
Mariana is an accredited tourist guide, with particular skills in the fields of birds, birding and botanising in the Western Cape.
My association with Mariana is through the Cape Bird Club's links with Tygerberg Bird Club, our "sister club" in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. Mariana is currently the Chairman of this club and has carried the position with distinction for several years.
I have no doubt that the energy, commitment and enthusiasm that Mariana brings to her role as Chairman of the Tygerberg Bird Club will be reflected equally in her tour guiding activities.
Mariana's enthusiasm is infectious. Her outgoing and friendly disposition, knowledge in her chosen field and attention to detail will assure anyone participating in her tours of a stimulating and memorable experience.
Cape Bird Club
PO Box 5022
Eco-Information on the Western Cape, South Africa.
The Succulent Karoo is one of 25 internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots, and the only arid hotspot in the world. Succulent Karoo has the highest number of plant species of any semi-arid area, many of which are rare and endangered, and has the richest succulent flora in the world.
Semi-desert climatic conditions prevail, with less than 250mm of rainfall per year that falls predominantly in winter. Vegetation is sparse, dominated by dwarf scrubs of which most have succulent leaves. The most common of its succulent, or fleshy leaved plants are mesembs (Mesembryanthemaceae), commonly known as 'vygies'.
There are more than 2 000 different species of mesembs in South Africa, of which many occur in the Western Cape. Other succulent families include the Aloes, Haworthias, Crassulas, Euphorbias and Stapeliads. The Succulent Karoo is also very rich in geophytes, with spectacular displays in spring.