Kimberley - It is once again time for the “greatest flower show on earth” in the Northern Cape as South Africa’s western region prepares for its annual influx of visitors, travelling to the Province to see the spectacular spring flower displays that take place every August and September.
The Namaqua National Park, in the Northern Cape, said the later-than-usual rains in the area meant the flower display would begin a little later than normal. However, this will also probably mean the season will last longer than usual.
Bernard van Lente, the park manager, said that the park had some warm days recently and the Skilpad area suddenly came to life.
“It is currently looking good for the remainder of the season, particularly if we get more rain. The lower lying areas of the park, in particular Soebatsfontein, Kookfontein and the Wildeperdehoek areas, are looking incredible and it is the best this area has been for many a year. A multitude of species is flowering all at once, with vygies and beetle daisies being very noticeable. The coastal area in the park (Groen River to Spoeg River) is looking better and better. Visitors are guaranteed to view good flowers, particularly vygies, in this area. Please note that the coastal section of Namaqua National Park can only be visited with a 4x4,” Van Lente said.
He added that the Caracal Ecoroute in Namaqua National Park was definitely the way to go at this stage when visiting the park.
“Visitors will see a wide variety of flowers, from the mountains to the coast. It is essential to get the guide booklet at one of our offices if you intend doing this route. The route takes all day and a 4x4 is essential due to some sandy stretches along the coast.
“However, around the park, there are reports of very good flowers at Spoeg River and Wallekraal, and along the Hondeklip Bay and Groen River roads.”
Flower experts recommend that the blossom brigades plan their journeys according to the direction of the sun. Driving with the sun from behind in a westward direction in the morning and an easterly direction after midday allows for the best flower viewing. Make the best of sunny days as the flowers are fully open for approximately five hours between 11am and 4pm.
The Namaqua flowers are a natural phenomenon that is considered to be one of the world’s botanical wonders and definitely not an experience to be missed.
Visitors are encouraged to make the time to explore nature’s magic on foot and at leisure, with the magnificence of a sea of colour stretching over the horizon that can literally take your breath away.
Norma Wildenboer, Diamond Fields Advertiser