Friday, 18 September 2015

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 
are found nowhere else on earth.

Our Selfdrive Route
Citrisdal; Clanwilliam; Tankwa Karoo National park; Calvinia;
 Loeries Fontein; Nieuwoudtville; Vanrhynsdorp; Vredendal;Strandfontein; 
Lutzville; Garies; Soebatsfontein; Skilpad; Springbok.

Distance Travelled: +- 1500km
Vehicle used: Toyota Rav

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.