Wild flowers of Namaqualand

Posted on Thu August 23, 2018.

Wild flowers of Namaqualand

The “Spring” Cape Wild Flowers are one of the natural wonders of the world.

In spring the arid areas of the Cape West Coast and the semi desert of Namaqualand, transform into a floral wonderland that attracts photographers, artists, botanists and sightseers from around the globe.

The wild flowers begin 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 best way to approach the flowers is from the north, as in spring, the sun is in the north. The flowers only come out in the sun, and always face the sun. So, if you are going right up north, drive there first, and then wend your way slowly down south.

If you plan to visit this spectacle in mid-September, then enjoy the south around the West Coast National Park, Yzerfontein and Darling as it is too late for the north. The flower season is dependent on the winter rains, the wind and other weather factors, and the displays vary from place to place each season. For up-to-date information and directions, visit the tourism offices in each town. The towns are all small, so finding your way around is very easy and the locals are really hospitable. The best way to have a well-rounded trip would be to include the West Coast National Park for its Postberg flowers, wildlife and birding, some of the quaint West Coast Towns like Paternoster, Yzerfontein and Saldanha, for their laid-back atmosphere and fresh seafood, the Cederberg for its rock art and mountain beauty, Wuppertal for its interesting history and Citrusdal for the beautiful orange orchards.

Darling is also well known as a cultural experience, with the Eva Perron theatre and culinary delights. The entire flower area has become well-known for its vineyards and boutique wine cellars, and the ShowMe West Coast Wine Route will give you options, whichever route you take. If time allows, the flowers in the north, though further away, around Vanrhynsdorp and Springbok are glorious and well worth the trip.