Following the west coast of South Africa across to Namibia, Namaqualand is known for its spring flowers blossoming in August and September in an explosion of colour, to make any impressionist envious.
Namaqualand - or the Namaqua region - covers an area of 400,000 square kilometres. The 1,000-hectare Skilpad Wild Flower Reserve (part of the Namaqua National Park) west of Kamieskroon is a prime location, close to the coast.
Goegap Nature Reserve is a bird haven with 92 bird species, including majestic black eagle, Cape eagle owl, marsh harrier and the cinnamon-breasted warbler. The reserve also offers the best wildlife from the Northern Cape, with over 45 species of mammals, including the endangered Hartmann’s zebra, aardwolf, honey badger, as well as a wide variety of antelope.
Richtersveld National Park is a World Heritage Site inside Little Namaqualand, which also hosts numerous animal, bird and plant species, including the uncanny halfmens succulent, named after its resemblance to a human silhouette.
Namaqua National Park is an area covering 55,000 square kilometres located within the semi-desert Succulent Karoo biome. This biome has a unique biodiversity with the largest concentration of succulent plants in the world, 40% of which are endemic and 18% threatened. These many-coloured flowers include daisies, lilies, aloes, and perennial herbs. Many pollinator insect and bird species are attracted to the flower’s nectar and pollen. The speckled Padloper, the smallest tortoise in the world, can also be found in the park, and the biome also has diverse invertebrate and reptile species, some of which are endemic.
is featured in the following itineraries:
Join award-winning macro photographer Chris Mattison to capture the magnificent spring flowers in two distinct biomes known as the Cape Floristic and the Succulent Karoo regions. Visit the fascinating Cederberg Wilderness, known for its floral beauty as well as its ancient San Bushman rock paintings.
When to go: Aug-Sep
Duration inc. flights: 16 days
Price inc. flights: From £4,395 pp
Trip type: Group tour
From the flowers, birds and stunning scenery of the Cape, to wonderful flower-rich Namaqualand, this trip visits an astoundingly beautiful and varied land, rich in wildlife. All this at a time of year when the flowers and birds here are at their best, and when whales are displaying close inshore.