Alpine Garden Society

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DATES:  15 - 28 January 2018

LEADERS:  Paul Cardy & Callan Cohen

COST:  London return: £4,655, Johannesburg return: £3,795

GROUP:  Min. 5, max. 15

ACCOMMODATION:  Small hotels


The Drakensberg Mountains are one of the largest areas of alpine habitat in Africa. 

Over 2,200 plant species have been documented here, with a staggering 400 endemics.

We'll visit in the summer, the perfect time to catch the peak of flowering. 



  • Sentinel Peak: See floral wonders against the panoramic backdrop where South Africa and Lesotho meet below Sentinel Peak. (See Crocosmia pearsei, Eucomis bicolor, Dianthus basuticus and Agapanthus Moraea specieis.) 


  • Oxbow: Discover the likes of Disa fragrans in the boggy meadows. Xerophyta viscosa can be found at the base of cliffs. 


  • Sani Pass: Basalt cliffs support tufts of brilliant red Gladiolus flanaganii. Bogs on the plateau have a carpetof pink Rhodohypoxi baurii. 


  • Orchids galore: See three species of 'old man' Huttonaea orchids hanging from rock faces in mist-belt forests. We'll also see Corycium, Habenaria, Satyrium, Schizochius, Disperis, Brownleea and both green devil and death orchids. 



   DAY 1

   Flight from London to South Africa.


   DAYS 2 - 4

   Golden Gate National Park.

   Witsieshoek/ The Sentinel and Oxbow.

   DAY 5

   Travel to Giant's Castle via Spionkop.


   DAY 6

   Giant's Castle and the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park.


   DAY 7



   DAY 8

   Umgeni Reserve to Underberg.


   DAYS 9 - 11

   Sani Pass.


   DAY 12

   Umtamvuna: Pondoland specials.


   DAY 13

   Port Edward area to Durban.

   Departure from Durban.

   DAY 14

   Arrive UK/ Europe.



A full itinerary is available to download from the Greentours website



Download and complete a booking form. You will receive a confirmation of your place from Greentours and an information pack will be sent to you around 12 weeks before departure. 

Please contact Greentours to check availability.

Contact Greentours to check availability. 


We’ll drive up to lofty heights where South Africa and Lesotho meet below Sentinel Peak. Sweeping panoramic views provide a backdrop to floral wonders such as Crocosmia pearsii, Eucomis bicolor, Dianthus basuticus and Agapanthus and Moraea species. Golden Gate is the best place to see endemic Black Wildebeest and Blesbok. At Oxbow in Lesotho extensive boggy meadows host specialities like Disa fragrans and spectacular clumps of Xerophyta viscosa are found at the base of cliffs. The spectacular Sani Pass is the gem of the southern Drakensberg. Basalt cliffs support tufts of brilliant red Gladiolus flanaganni, whilst bogs on the plateau have a carpet of pink Rhodohypoxis baurii. Sloggett’s Ice Rats scuttle into cover at any sign of Verreaux’s Eagle. A host of endemic Helichrysums, Jamesbrittenia lesutica and spectacular orange-red Gladiolus saundersii adorn the Black Mountains. Three endemic species of "old man" Huttonaea orchids hang from damp rockfaces in mistbelt forests, indeed we’ll see a range of orchids; Corycium, Habenaria, Satyrium, Schizochilus, Disperis, Brownleea, and both Green Devil Orchid and Death Orchid.


Malachite and Greater Double-collared Sunbirds provide splashes of colour, and White Rhinos a frisson of excitement as we explore Giant’s Castle where grasslands host a suite of orchids and irids, including Gladiolus crassifolius. The ancient sandstone gorges of Pondoland along the south coast have magnificent pink spires of Watsonia umtamvunae and here we will find the gorgeous Narina Trogon in orchid-rich forests.

Dates and Prices
Dates 15 – 28 January 2018 (14 days)

Cost London - London = £4495

Cost Johannesburgh - Johannesburgh = £3795

Cost Johannesburgh - Durban = £3750

Deposit = £450

Single Supplement = £350* 

*Does not apply if you are willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged.

Disa polygonoides


Flowers. Also Birds, Mammals, Butterflies, Dragonflies, and Landscapes.


Callan Cohen and Paul Cardy.


Three or four miles a day, usually much less, and always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers. The terrain is mostly flat, as the best flowers occur in the valleys between the peaks, but we will also explore some mountain paths. The altitude ranges from sea-level to 3250m, although we will mostly be below 2500m.

Included in the Price

All flights. All accommodation, transport, tips and meals in Southern Africa. Services of your leaders. Please note: items of a personal nature including insurance, and visas, are not included.

Group Size

Minimum is 5 and the maximum is 15. Only one leader will accompany a group of 6 or less.


We will stay at a varied mix of charming small hotels. All rooms have private facilities.


UK direct outbound flights are from London Heathrow to Johannesburg return from Durban via Johannesburg. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* may be available. *These routes may incur a supplement


Mild, with temperatures ranging from a cool 10°C early in the mornings to highs later in the day of 25-30°C. We can expect occasional rain in the form of thunderstorms, but it should be largely dry and sunny.

How to Book

Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure.Flower, bird and mammal checklists are available.

Trip Reports

Call 01298 83563 or visit for the latest trip report.

Tour Itinerary

A full tour itnerary is available to download here. 

Tour Summary
Brunsvigia radulosa

Day 1

UK to South Africa

Days 2-4

Golden Gate NP – Witsieshoek / The Sentinel and Oxbow

Day 5

via Spionkop to Giant’s Castle

Day 6

Giant’s Castle and the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park

Day 7


Day 8

Umgeni Reserve to Underberg

Days 9-11 

Sani Pass

Day 12

Umtamvuna: Pondoland specials

Day 13

Port Edward area to Durban; departure from Durban

Day 14

Arrive UK/Europe

[ Full list of Forthcoming Tours ]
[ Printable Version in separate window ]