Namaqualand – Beautiful and Colorful Flowers
There are few scenes in nature that can match the wonder and splendor of Namaqualand in spring. This amazing part of the South African landscape simply comes alive in such a wonderful abundance of color and variety, that the resulting scenery is something that no artist’s paintbrush can do justice to. In fact, even cameras struggle to catch the dazzling brilliance of the flowers which blossom in every imaginable corner of this otherwise harsh and dry part of the country called Namaqualand.
Namaqualand was South Africa’s first game reserve, proclaimed in 1892, but due to pressure by local farmers and uncontrolled poaching, game was almost wiped out and the area was deproclaimed in the 1920’s. It was here that the last of the now extinct Quagga was wiped out. Today there are still small pockets of reserves and numerous small mammals, reptiles and birds, but the main attraction is the rainbow display of wild flowers.
This fantastic annual spectacle takes place once a year after the spring rains. The result is a blanket of the most fantastic colors, which spreads from one horizon to the next, converting once barren and dusty veld into a wonderland of every imaginable hue and shade. The most prolific flowers are the Namaqualand daisies and bul-bines, although many attractive and sometimes rare species of succulents can also be found here. This wonderful abundance has caused botanists from all over the world to make annual pilgrimages to Namaqualand for research or experience.
Namaqualand is also valuable for historical and mineralogical reasons. As far back as 1685 an expedition team, led by Simon van der Stel, sank a shaft and discovered copper near the town of Springbok. This shaft still stands as a national monument, together with the copper smelting chimney built by the Cape Copper Company in 1866. Today Springbok is the largest and most northerly town from where tourists visit Namaqualand and it remains the administrative center of the area. The town of Springbok has most modern amenities, hotels and caravan parks. It also has an excellent succulent nursery worth visiting. So visit this memorable part of the country and enjoy a truly unforgettable experience!