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 the 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. This has a superb collection of succulents in the Hester Malan Wildflower Garden. Indeed it has one rare succulent which is found nowhere else in the world. This is the bizarrely-formed Halfmens or ‘half men’, resembling an armless person.
The interior uplands around Nieuwoudtville lie somewhat between Namaqualand and the Cedarberg in the south. On this escarpment the rainfall increases dramatically. So its a flower mecca. Visit the rewarding Nieuwoudtville Wild Flower Reserve or the many farms which open to visitors during the flower season such as Papkuilsfontein. Many flowers, bulbs and orchid species are indigenous to the area, not found anywhere else in South Africa. Plus enjoy the short scenic detour to Nieuwoudtville’s dramatic waterfall whilst you are there.
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!
Check out Viewing the Spring Flowers.
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