Namaqualand’s desert flowers
Did you know?
Fynbos cannot support large herds of mammals as the nutrient poor soil does not provide sufficient nitrogen for the creation of proteins.
Namaqualand's desert flowers are one of the most dramatic natural spectacles in the world.
This arid desert area bursts into a spectacular ocean of flowers between August and October most years. The flower display depends on whether the rains have been good that season, as the dormant seeds lie in the dry earth for months waiting for rain.
The area extends some 500 kilometres north up the Cape coast and for 100 kilometres inland, an area which, for most of the year, wears its muted semi-desert coat.
Come spring it removes the coat to reveal its dazzling colour and scent.
Approximately 4 000 species of plants have been identified in the desert flowers of Namaqualand. Mystical plants, such as the Namaqua Halfmens, dot the landscape, adding to its drama, while parks, such as the Goegap and Hester Malan Nature Reserves, protect this unique landscape which is home to more than 30 of South Africa's succulent species.
For a rugged travel experience visitors can take on the 642km Namakwa 4x4 route, which runs along the Orange River to the ocean. The Richtersveld National Park in Namaqualand's north-west corner, which is renowned for its desert flowers also offers the country's largest mountain desert, which extends into Namibia.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Namaqualand Tourism Authority
Tel: + 27 (0)27 744 1770