The Floral Kingdom

Between the months of July and October each year thousands of people drive hundreds of kilometers across the otherwise dry and arid Karoo and Kalahari to catch a glimpse and photograph one of the most crowded biodiversity hotspots in the world when the lifeless dry grey scrub transforms itself into a kaleidoscope of colour. 

Depending on rainfall, almost 4000 diverse species of plants burst forth and produce a floral carpet in Namaqualand and surrounds that never ceases to amaze visitors from all over the world. Even the locals never tire of witnessing this miraculous phenomina.

Evidence of flowers start in Cape Town and continue up the N7 through the Richtersveld National Park as far north as Alexander Bay. Visitors should allow themselves two to three days to drive a series of routes that include towns such as Garies, Springbok, Kamieskroon and Port Nolloth to make sure they don’t to miss out on another kaleidoscope of colour.

The flowers turn their heads towards the sun so they should be viewed while driving or walking with the sun behind you and they are at their best during the hottest part of the day, between 11h00 and 15h00

There are many routes one can drive but the recommended and most frequented is to get yourself to Springbok rather quickly, then at your leisure drive down the N7 to Kamieskroon, Bitterfontein, Vanrhyansdorp and Nieuwoudville taking the time to veer off the main routes to do some flower spotting. Then take the R364 to Clanwilliam, back on the N7 to Piketberg, take the R399 to Velddrif, the R27 to Langebaan, drive through the West Coast National Park to Yzterfontain and then make your way to Cape Town along the R27 visiting all the reserves. Of course depending on which direction you come from you may like to reverse engineer this.

One should try and drive through as many reserves as possible en-route and be sure not to miss the Goegap Nature Reserve with the Hester Malan Wild Flower Garden near Springbok and the Namaqua National Park with the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve near Kamieskroon.

Happy flower spotting !

The Namaqualand Daisies (Wild flowers) Route is 780 kilometers (485 miles) long.

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