See The Flowers, Be The Flowers
The magic of a blanket of beautiful blooms comes alive in Namaqualand between July and September of every year. In fact, this part of the Northern Cape is actually fairly quiet for the rest of the year. However, come winter, visitors from all over the world flock to see the magnificence of the blooms as they emerge from their summer sleepiness and grace the extensive countryside with their vibrant colours and breath-taking aroma.
There are more than 4 000 different plant species, but it is up to the weather to decide which will flourish in any given year. This means that even regular visitors that frequent the area year after year will still enjoy endless variety every time they visit.
A tour of the Skilpad section of the Namaqua National Park is the best way to get the most out of viewing the flowers for which this part of South Africa is famous. Various tours are on offer, depending on the needs, wants and availability of the visitors.
Whether you want to take some time to take a private walk through the flowers, a scenic drive in your own vehicle, indulge in a picnic at the viewpoints or enjoy a leisurely lunch at the restaurant, Namaqualand offers visitors plenty to do and see.
Various bus tours give tourists the opportunity to sit back and take in the spectacular displays, courtesy of the flood of flowers, from the comfort of a bus. Air-conditioning and the narrative from the experienced guide add a touch of luxury to the tour, making it extra memorable.
The Namaqua National Park boasts over 220 kilometres of road to explore by 4 x 4 for off-roaders that want to enjoy more hands-on interactions with the blooms and countryside. Self-guided or guided game drives yield so many stunning sightings of plants and animals that have made this area their natural habitat. Common species include different antelope, the Cape Hare, Bat-eared Fox and the Nama Speckled Padloper (acclaimed as the world’s smallest tortoise).
Leliefontein is a nearby historic village and home to the Leliefontein Methodist Church, which is a National Monument. This is one of the oldest villages in South Africa, known for having been under carnage in the Anglo Boer War. The original mission station is still standing and serves a community of livestock farmers.
Some of the best eateries in the area are:
- Kliphuis Kombuis
- The Old Trading Store
- Pannekoek Paleis