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Travel Guide - Namaqualand (Northern Cape)
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Namaqua National Park
Namaqualand extends all the way to the small town of Pofadder in the east, the Orange River to the north and beyond the little village of Garies to the south. Within this vast landscape lies the Namaqua National Park situated some 495 kilometres from Cape Town, and close to the little town of Kamieskroon, just off the N7 route to Namibia. During the spring flower season there is a circular drive which provides a perfect trail with viewpoints along the route, a number of short nature trails, picnic sites, and the opportunity to see the world’s smallest tortoise - the Namaqua Speckled Padloper.
The Namaqua National Park is famous for its carpet of spring wild flowers. Namaqualand has some of the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world and more than 1 000 of its approximate 5,000 plant species are not found anywhere else on Earth.
For most of the year Namaqualand is a semi-desert but from July to September, after the rains, the area is transformed resulting in millions of flowers that literally cover the landscape into a show that easily rivals the natural wonders on Earth. Due to the harsh climate in Namaqualand the flora and fauna here has had to adapt or die. The landscape is dotted not only with fields of brightly coloured daisies in spring, but there are also quiver trees, massive granite outcrops, quartz patches, and a sky so vast that it is small wonder that it has been coined 'big sky country'. Its worth checking out before you visit the area to check to see whether there has been some decent winter rains as without them the floral displays are far less impressive. And depending upon when the rains do fall this will dictate which seeds germinate and go on to create the floral display.
Namaqua National Park is situated off the N7 route to Namibia about 495km from Cape Town and about 67km from Springbok.
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