Namaqualand, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Karoo, is known for its glorious carpets of spring flowers and its botanical nature reserves.
For most of the year, Namaqualand is a barren, sun-scorched semi-desert, but following winter rains, the vast sandy plains come alive with brilliant orange, purple and yellow spring flowers. There are over 3000 different flower species but the most striking are the daisies and vygies, which germinate quickly after the rains. As well as the ‘carpets’ of annuals, there are a huge number of hardier perennials and succulents.
Visit some of the many nature reserves such as the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve at Kamieskroon, with its rich bulb variety and wild geraniums. Or the Goegab Nature Reserve near Springbok, which is particularly known for the succulents in the Hester Malan Wildflower Garden. The Goegap has one rare succulent found nowhere else in the world, the bizarrely formed Halfmens or ‘half men’, which resembles an armless person.
Between Namaqualand and the Cedarberg lies the interior uplands around Nieuwoudtville. On this escarpment the rainfall increases dramatically and you can visit the rewarding Nieuwoudtville Wild Flower Reserve or Papkuilsfontein. Many flowers, bulbs and orchid species that are not found anywhere else in South Africa can be seen at Nieuwoudtville. Enjoy the short scenic detour to Nieuwoudtville’s dramatic waterfall.
We offer an escorted spring wild flower tour in August, as well as self drive tours and private flower tours. But please book early as it is very popular and there is very limited accommodation in this remote area!
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