Nieuwoudtville Waterfall, Northern Cape
Did you know?
Nieuwoudtville is a global mecca for botanists because of its unique bulb concentration.
Just 7km north of the Northern Cape's charming little town of Nieuwoudtville (pronounced knee-vote-vill) on the Bokkeveld Plateau on the Great Karoo you'll find a beautiful waterfall.
Because the whole region lies on the edge of an escarpment, it enjoys high rainfall and the Nieuwoudtville Waterfall is particularly impressive after good summer rains as it plunges 100m down a rocky ravine into a deep pool below. Look out for raptors, including large eagles, which often soar over the falls as they hunt for prey.
You won't find too many other visitors here, except during the Namaqua wild flower season when the desert blooms into red, yellow, purple and orange life with the advent of the spectacular annual wild flower display. In August and September the usually arid landscape is transformed into a dense carpet of glowing colour.
Nieuwoudtville is named after two Afrikaans brothers who established the original farm in 1897. It lies amidst flat countryside dominated by wheatlands, proteas and heather.
Today it's the most attractive town in the area, resonating with history and character. Old tin-roofed, honey-coloured sandstone buildings huddle together in a hollow sheltered by lots of trees. On its outskirts you'll find the poignant remains of some of the dwellings of early settlers, driven out by inclement weather and harsh living conditions.
This area is full not only of settler history, but also of early indigenous culture. If you're interested, take a trip to nearby Papkuilsfontein to see ancient rock art.
Nieuwoudtville has a unique botanical distinction – it's home to the world's highest concentration of bulb species. Check out thousands of endemic bulbinellas at the Nieuwoudtville Wild Flower Reserve or in other nature reserves in the area.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Nieuwoudtville Tourism Association
Tel: +27 (0)27 218 1336
Van Zijl Guesthouse
Tel: +27 (0)27 218 1538
How to get here
The falls are just 7km out of town on the Loeriesfontein road.
Best time to visit
August and September because the wild flowers are in dazzling bloom.
Around the area
The Bokkeveld Nature Reserve, Quiver Tree Forest and Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve.
Length of stay
An hour or so; longer if you decide to picnic there.
Where to stay
There are a range of guest houses in and around the town.
What to eat
Sweet, succulent Karoo lamb, a speciality of the area.
The world-famous wild flower season runs from mid-July to the end of September.