Namaqualand Flower Route, starting at Cape Town and ending at Port Nolloth, is known for its impressive wildflower displays throughout the Northern Cape of South Africa. The route connecting towns, cities, national parks, and reserves is a revered travel pilgrimage for many of the country’s visitors. And why not? The wildflowers in this expanse are nothing short of a phenomenon. Most of the year, the landscape is dry and void until spring, when the whole area blossoms with more flowers than you can count.
Flowers in Namaqualand
What you need to know about the Namaqualand Flower Route
The flower route has a reputation for being the best destination to see acres of spring flowers worldwide. The springtime blossoms of Cape West Coast and Namaqualand Northern Cape South Africa are breathtaking and awe-striking. The route boasts a carpet of wildflowers that is nothing short of amazing.
The Namaqualand Flower Route is in the Namaqualand region. The region is often referred to as “Little Namaqualand,” to tell it from the Great Namaqualand area of South Africa. That is because when the first Whites came to South Africa, a large Khoikhoi tribe of the Nama lived in this region. Namaqua is the plural form of the word Nama. For most of the year, the area is dry except for the months after winter, from May to July or August when it rains.
The route transforms into a brightly painted landscape with flowering life boosting a splash of colour in the springtime. During the dry months, the normally arid landscape transforms into a carpet of impressive wildflower displays. Prepare to be impressed by the incredible sight of a brown, grey, and dusky purple palette. Even if you aren’t a flora enthusiast, it is impossible not to be awed by the blend of flowers.
The 800-kilometer-long route will take you about 9 hours if you don’t make stopovers. There are various routes to choose from depending on the amount of time you have.
Where to see Wildflowers in the Northern Cape
Namaqualand Flower Route has over 3500 species of flowers that blossom in the spring. Colour your imagination with one of the world’s most exquisite flower shows by taking the Wildflower route.
The route will take you about three hours from Cape Town up the N7 and then branch off at Vanrhynsdrop. Stop at the Hantam National Botanical Garden, “the bulb capital of the world,” and admire the geophytes. Unfortunately, the plants here are prone to extinction. The spectacular geophytes include the brilliant blue pride of Nieuwoudtville, Geissorhiza splendidissima, and the two deluxe Sparaxis species – Sparaxis pillansii and Sparaxis elegans.
While most visitors come to view the spring flowers, autumn (March and April) in Nieuwoudtville offers another spectacular flower display when the Amaryllidaceae species – the beautiful, lily-like amaryllis family – come out to play. You can take any of the hiking trails or mountain bike routes and admire the wild ensemble.
Another destination where you can enjoy the wildflowers is Namaqua National Park. Flowers here bloom as far as the eye can see. There are several floral hotspots along the way, like the Skilpad Wildflower Kamieskroon and the route through the Namaqualand town of Springbok to the Goegap Nature Reserve, which covers 7,000 hectares. Both reserves offer four-wheel drives, hiking, eco trails, day drives, and biking.
Facts about the Namaqualand Flower Route
- The flower route starts at Cape Town and ends at Fort Nolloth.
- It is 800 kilometers long.
- A drive through this course will take you approximately 9 hours if you do not make stops along the way.
- The route has over 3500 species of flowers.
- The route is found in Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Also read: Best things to do in the Northern Cape
Preparing for the Namaqualand Flower Route
If you are planning on visiting Namaqualand soon, you must prepare yourself beforehand. Some of the preparations you need to make include buying summer clothes to be amazingly comfortable during your trip. Be sure to book your accommodation, tours, and even tour guides beforehand so that you can enjoy your trip when you arrive. Finally, organize your itinerary to fit in with the amount of time you have and have a stress-free vacation.
What to Pack
There are small items you must consider before you head out on your journey. These include the following.
- Walking boots.
- Light Summer Clothes.
- Drinking water
Best time of the Year to Visit
The time between the first week of August to the end of September is the best time to visit. You will be able to see an enormous flower display during this time. You can also visit during March and April and see the flowering of the March lilies in Nieuwoudtville.
Accommodation Along the Namaqualand Flower Route
It would help if you were watchful about accommodation on this route that you should remember to make hotel reservations before you arrive. It may best suit you to spend the night in Port Nolloth after a long exhilarating drive is the absolute best option. The drive from Cape Town can be both tiresome and fun. However, you can always explore the neighboring towns and take pictures. Explore the area around the border of Namibia and head back west and visit the villages you missed.
These charming little self-catering cottages on the beach give excellent value to the merger cost per night. Each beachfront lodging includes Wi-Fi, a braai area, a kitchen, and uninterrupted dusk views. There’s also an on-site museum and swimming pool.
Voetbaai Guesthouse is located just a few minutes from the seashore; these up-scale villas have patios and terraces with ocean views, flat-screen TVs, full kitchens, a covered parking area, and complimentary beach amenities.
The spacious 2-bedroom, 3-bathroom beach house is an ideal place to vacation for a few days while exploring the area. It is located directly on the beach, just 30m from the water. It has a huge upstairs balcony overlooking the ocean, a ground-floor patio with a braai/BBQ area, and direct beach access!
Kindly use the Northern Cape flower hotline number +27(0)72 760 6019 for updates.