You’ll hear a student called Josh Brady talking about visiting South Africa as part of his university course in botany.
TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA
As well as his research project, Josh planned to write a for a website while he was in Africa.
Josh’s group planned to check out a particular region after athat had occurred there.
Josh was surprised to see being grown in the first area they visited.
Josh describes the vehicle they travelled in as a when they went in search of specimens.
Josh uses the wordto give us an idea of the shape of the leaves he found.
Josh was particularly impressed by one type of flower which wasin colour.
Josh uses the wordto convey his feelings about an area of vegetation he studied.
Josh really appreciated the view he got from theof his accommodation.
M: Hi everyone. My name’s Josh Brady, and recently I was lucky enough to go on a botany trip to South Africa with my tutor and other students from my university, to gather data for the research project we’d been involved in all year. I didn’t post my diary or blog on the university website, because I’d promised to submit a report on my return, which would appear there, and I was working on that from Day One.
We were going to explore a beautiful region of coastal countryside that had previously been affected, not by drought as is common on some parts of the African continent I’ve studied, but by fire. We wanted to see how the flora and other life forms there had recovered – in fact, some plants growing there are dependent on this kind of event to trigger their germination. When we first saw the landscape however, we felt rather confused. Much of the area seemed to be cultivated fields, principally of red tea rather than the colourful flowers we’d been led to expect. Sensing our confusion, our tutor reassured us that we’d soon be off to a wilder area where we’d see a more striking range of specimens. We’d imagined this would involve being taken around in a kind of minibus, or even a van and trailer, but in fact what we boarded was what I can only describe as a safari truck and we headed out into the natural vegetation.
When we arrived and started walking through the vegetation, I found the shape of the leaves rather a surprise – coastal plants can often be tough, with leaves coming to a point like sharp knives, but these resembled needles more than anything else. That meant I was inadequately dressed for walking through them, in thin trousers. I was also totally unprepared for the amazing scent that the plants gave off. By the end of that trip, Id lost count of how many species we’d come across – small delicate pink specimens, bright yellow heathers, one with deep orange blooms, the mental image of which will stay with me forever, and bright crimson wild specimens.
The local farmers are totally committed to protecting the flowers and plants that have colonised the area. Conservationists call it shrubland, in other words a vast area of vegetation that now has arich array of plant species, but that sounds a bit negative for a place that to me seemed like a paradise.
One drawback was that, although the bedrooms in our hostel each had a balcony, the view was of the back yard, with a small garden beyond – which was hardly impressive. But by way of compensation the roof offered a spectacular vantage point over the surrounding scenery. We spent every evening watching the sun go down from there – a magical end to each fantastic day. Anyway, the trip was the most amazing I’ve ever done … [fade]