Namaqualand is a really arid region shared between Namibia and South Africa. It is divided into two portions by the lower course of the Orange River – Little Namaqualand to the south (South Africa) and Great Namaqualand to the north (Namibia).
Springbok is one of the more prominent towns in this area, as well Kleinzee and Koiingnaas which are private mining towns owned by De Beers Diamond Mines.
Namaqualand is indeed a vast and varied region and it’s quite popular with both local and international tourists during early springtime.
During early August and September after the winter rainfall, seemingly overnight, the dusty valleys of Namaqualand are transformed into a wonderland carpeted with wildflowers. The place is home to the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world and more than a 1000 of its estimated 3500 plant species are found nowhere else on earth.
Butterflies, birds and long-tongued flies dart around among the flowers, overwhelmed by the abundance and diversity!
Every turn in the road paints an unforgettable picture: valleys filled with Namaqualand daisies and other spring flowers, or extremely visible fauna…
“What a spectacle!” quoted Simon van der Stel, first Governor of the Cape Colony in 1652, when he saw Namaqualand for the very first time.
A part of Little Namaqualand, known as the Richtersveld, is a National Park and a World Heritage Site, while the often-visited Namaqua National Park and the Goegap Nature Reserve are located short distances from Kamieskroon and Springbok, respectively.
This area is also quite rich in alluvial diamonds deposited along the coast by the Orange River so let’s be crazy and try to find our own diamond!
During the arid summer months it is really difficult for the tourist to imagine the phenomenon of the yearly wild flower appearance but you will be glad to be a part of this experience next spring!
See you there!
By Lena Graire
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