Gift of the Rains: Olifants – River of Treasures (2001)
At the southern tip of Africa, the Olifants River flows through and nourishes the unique Cape Floral Kingdom. Despite being the smallest of the world’s six plant kingdoms, it is the richest and most spectacular, containing 3% of all the plant species found in the whole world.
When the spring comes after the winter rainfall, the Cape Floral Kingdom comes to life in a magnificent display of color. Insects flourish, breed and feed on the abundant food, while ants disperse the seeds of many plants. Many rare fish that occur nowhere else in the world find a safe home in the Olifants River’s clear unpolluted waters.
Halfway down its course, the river fills the Clanwilliam Dam. From the dam to the sea, the Olifants is bordered with man-planted alien vegetation and cultivated lands. Nonetheless, the mouth of the river remains beautifully pristine and true to nature, attracting a rich variety of waterbirds such as common terns, kelp gulls and pelicans.