The Magic Tapestry of Namaqualand
By The HAWK Photography Team
Anna-Mart Kruger & Helene Wiggett
The wild flowers of the Cape West Coast and Namaqualand,
in South Africa, are regarded as a botanical wonderland.
Although Namaqualand, is an area that for the majority of the year can
be described as semi-arid and desert like: It is also renowned for its annual
mass display of wild flowers in spring and a rich diversity of succulent plants.
Namaqualand has an area covering 55,000 km²,
An estimated 100,000 tourists visit Namaqualand every year. 65% of these visitors
are South African and 35% are from other countries. Namaqualand is the
home to the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world and more
than a 1 000 of its estimated 4000 plant species
Our Selfdrive Route
Citrisdal; Clanwilliam; Tankwa Karoo National park; Calvinia;
Loeries Fontein; Nieuwoudtville; Vanrhynsdorp; Vredendal;Strandfontein;
Lutzville; Garies; Soebatsfontein; Skilpad; Springbok.
Distance Travelled: +- 1500km
When to visit Namaqualand:
The exact dates and whereabouts of the flowers is determined by the
amount of rainfall during the winter, the wind and sun.
The wild flowers usually begins flowering first in the north in Namqualand
in late July/early August and then roll out southwards, through
Nieuwoudtville and the Cederberg towards the West Coast,
at the beginning of September.
The landscape transforms into a floral wonderland and visual treat that
attracts tourists, photographers, artists, botanists and sightseers
from around the globe.
Imagine flowers in their thousands; varying colors and sizes, filling fields
and mountainsides, often for as far as the eye can see.
Fields are turned into floral seas of gold, purple, and white
while valleys become like giant canvasses.
Around every turn in the road paints an unforgettable picture: valleys
filled with Namaqualand daisies and other spring flowers that
pulse with sheer energy and joy.
The flowers are sensitive to sunlight and many will only open when there
is bright sunshine. The flowers face the sun, and they generally open
completely from about 10 am to 4 pm. Hot winds can cause
the blooms to quickly shrivel.
The wild flowers of Namaqualand are without a doubt one of the greatest
and most spectacular natural phenomena that one will ever witness.
Our trip will forever be etched our minds for it surpassed
our wildest expectations
Namaqualand eludes comparison. It is, unique.
To top it all, the laid-back hospitality and friendly service along the route
made it even more was astonishing.