29 August 2011 by Chris Marais

Time to Visit the Flowers

First, you’ve got your jolly hay fevers of August, when the winds and the pollens conspire to keep you sneezing.

And now, wait for it, it’s time for the Grand South African Spring, when many thousands of travellers take to the roads and head off to Namaqualand along the West Coast to capture one of the greatest free shows on Earth: the daisies.

It’s a special time for us in the Marais household, as we pack our photographic gear and make our contact calls from Calvinia to Springbok, to find out just where those magnificent daisy fields are setting up this year.

You’re not always guaranteed visual splendour wherever you go. Namaqualand makes you work for your flowers. But the point is, you have to get there and hope for the best. As you drive up the N7 from Cape Town, you will find out for yourself where they lurk this year.

In the meantime, you’re meeting all sorts of interesting people, from the Knersveld to the Richtersveld. You’re staying in country hotels, quaint little b&bs, waking up to the sound of small town roosters and enjoying the drink and fare of the region.

Namaqualand in spring is very welcoming. They’ve been waiting for you all year, right through the hot summer and the icy winter, and now it’s time for this semi-desert to don its coat of many, many colours and show off to you, their guest.

And just remember, it’s not always about the size of the daisy field. Sometimes when you look through your lens at one single flower it feels like you’re speaking to its cheerful little soul.

So if you’re looking for me this September, check out for the guy in shorts lying in the blooms behind his cameras. I’ll be lost somewhere in Namaqualand - and ecstatic to be there…

Category: Culture & History

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