Everything you need to know about Namaqualand January 30th, 2019
Everything you need to know about Namaqualand
The Northern Cape is an undiscovered gem in South Africa. It is home to a number of small and interesting towns, such as Springbok, Pofadder and Kathu as well as being home to the most breathtaking display of wildflowers in the Southern Hemisphere. And while the Namaqualand daisies are certainly an attraction that everyone should see, there are dozens of other attractions which will surprise and delight visitors to this stunning area.
You can book a stay at beautiful and comfortable Springbok accommodation in the heart of Namaqualand, which is the ideal stopover on your journey through the Northern Cape. Springbok is conveniently situated, allowing you to easily drive from town to town and experience the stunning arid beauty of Namaqualand. Before you plan your trip, however, below is everything you need to know about this desert attraction.
It might be beautiful…
...but it is hot. The temperatures in Namaqualand can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, so be sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen and bottled drinking water for any hiking adventures you might be having in the area. Namaqualand might first appear to be a desert, but there is a diverse array of flora and fauna to be found.
But you must remember that it can be extremely hot here at some times of the year, so be prepared. If you are viewing the flowers, you will be lucky as there will be some spring rains that could help to relieve the heat. Driving through Springbok, in the heart of the Namaqualand will need you to have the air conditioner on at full-blast to abate the heat, but the scenery alone is worth the effort.
The flowers only bloom at a certain time
Going to see the Namaqualand daisies means that you will have to plan ahead of time in order to see them in all their glory. The flowers start blooming in late July and early August, so be sure that you travel there during this time, and not in September when most of the flowers are no longer on display.
It is important to note that the flowering dates will differ slightly according to the rains that occur, and whether there was a heavy or light rainfall during the months leading up to August. And if it is still raining in August when you want to view the flowers, it can be difficult to spend time outside exploring the region in the rain. You can look online for weather reports for the year to see what the rainfall has been like and plan your trip accordingly.
More than just flowers
While the gorgeous carpet of wildflowers is the main attraction in Namaqualand and in the Northern Cape, you will find that there are other activities to do and sights to see in the surrounding towns. You could visit the Namaqua National Park or the Goegap Nature Reserve in Springbok. Or try one of the many 4x4 trails to be found.
Namaqualand is a biodiverse region of South Africa, with some plants and animals that are not found in other provinces. One of the more unique animals you will be able to spot include the Namaqua speckled padloper, considered to be the smallest tortoise in the world. You might also spot the insectivorous aardwolf as well as the stunning African wildcat. There are also beautiful beaches to visit where you can spend hours relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
Outdoor activities galore
For the outdoor enthusiast, Namaqualand and the surrounding towns are the ideal places to spend time. There are 4x4 trails that range from easy to highly challenging, such as the Caracal 4x4 eco-route which offers unrivalled panoramic views of the area. There are also fun and exciting mountain bike trails which are ideal for families who enjoy an adventure.
You can enjoy walks and hikes in your own time, as well as trails that take you to San rock-art paintings and caves that have been left untouched for thousands of years. The Goegap Nature Reserve in Springbok is ideal for bird lovers, as there are 92 different bird species to spot, including the magnificent black eagle. You should always have sunscreen and bottled water with you for these outdoor activities.
Escape the city
Venturing into Namaqualand allows you to escape the fast-paced routine of life. It is a beautiful place to visit, full of unique plants and animals, with unforgettable views. Remember that it can be very hot at some points of the year, and that the wildflowers only bloom from late July to the end of August. There are outdoor activities to suit every need, so get out your calendars and plan a trip to the gorgeous Northern Cape.