The Northern Cape’s flower season, as its known, is no ordinary springtime blossom. From August to mid-September the province is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colours and is carpeted with wildflowers.
The spectacular views of wild flowers attract photographers and visitors from all corners of the globe.
Top places to view flowers
The Nieuwoudtville Wildflower Reserve and Hantam National Botanical Garden just outside Nieuwoudtville offer some of the finest displays.
From Nieuwoudtville, you can head back up the N7 to the 150 000-hectare Namaqua National Park, where flowers bloom as far as the eye can see.
There are several floral hotspots along the way, including the Skilpad Wild Flower Reserve at Kamieskroon. This route leads all the way to the Namaqualand town of Springbok and beyond to the nearby 7 000-hectare Goegap Nature Reserve.
Hiking, eco-trails, day drives, mountain-bike and 4×4 routes are all on offer in and around both reserves. You can also learn about pollinators, including butterflies, bees and birds. This includes learning more about the wildlife, including the bat-eared fox, steenbok and Cape porcupine.
Finding the right spot is not always easy. The best is to check with local tourism authorities to find out which areas are at their best.
Namaqua and West Coast maps are available at all tourism offices.
Tips for viewing flowers
- The flowers are open between 11 am and 3 pm
- The sun must be out for flowers to open
- The day temperature must be at least 18 degrees
- Flowers will not open on rainy or overcast days
Plan your journey so the sun is behind you when you drive through flower-rich terrain. If you don’t, colourful fields actually appear grey as flowers all face the sun.
Better still, ditch the car and tackle the many hiking and mountain-biking routes through flower country.
Now would be a good time to start panning for the flower season! Get your camera ready and set your mind to a wonderful experience!