Namaqualand : A Floral Wonderland

Namaqualand is truly a land of wonder. Sitting dormant for nine months, a dry semi-desert along Africa’s West Coast, Namaqualand is quickly transformed into a spectacular flower carpet following the winter rains. Vast numbers of tourists are attracted to this magnificent explosion of color each year and Namaqualand flower tours are increasingly popular.

Namaqualand is made up of two sections separated by the impressive Orange River. In the north into Namibia is Greater Namaqualand, in the south is South Africa’s Little Namaqualand. From the Atlantic Ocean in the west it stretches eastwards to the quaint town of Pofadder. The vastness of this region is characterized by diversity and unique beauty. And of course there is the annual flower spectacle, with Namaqualand daisies dominating the flora. Also observable are stunning lilies, perennial herbs, aloes and many other wildflower species. When you consider the extreme conditions under which these plants survive seeing them flourishing is an even more amazing experience. Adding to the fantastic panorama are the sparkling fountains that flow through the now verdant landscape.

Namaqualand daisies are not the only organisms thriving in the gorgeous Goegab Nature Reserve and Skilpad Wildflower Reserve. Many wildlife call these areas home, from lizards and tortoises to insects and small mammals, there are many creatures to see. Namaqualand National Park is known to protect over 3000 plant species as well as numerous rare animal species such as the bat-eared fox. Also expect to see a vast number of different bird species

Several exciting routes can be traveled to discover this land of extremes. Old Copper Way was created in the 1600s and traces the path of Simon van der Stel as he journeyed here in search of copper. Along this roadway you can look back in history as you travel past old mining settlements and towns. Those who enjoy a bit of a challenge can experience Namaqualand by hiking or mountain biking through the Kammies Mountain. Options are abundant.

There are several things to consider when traveling in Namaqualand. The best time of day to view the flowers is between 11:00 and 15:00 and flower will only open in sunny weather. When driving take the time to make several stops where you can view many different flower species. There are so many different color Namaqualand daisies, you wouldn’t want to miss any. Locals are very friendly and will be glad to help you with directions as well as assisting you in finding the best flower spots. Alternatively, join a Namaqualand flower tour. Guides will be able to provide you with an abundance of information on this colorful landscape.

Touring Namaqualand during spring is a unique South African experience, one that visitors never forget.