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Flower Tour

Southern Sky Adventures: Flower Tour

The spring wild flowers are a phenomenon that never ceases to amaze and delight, even for those who live in what is considered South Africa‘s “outback” – Namaqualand. What at first glance appears to be a wilderness of semi-desert – arid, dusty plains that stretch before one, dramatic mountains in the background, with little by way of color or animation – is suddenly transformed, as if by a painter with a manic palette, into a pageant of flowers.

The riot of flowers is a highly volatile exhibition. Almost 4,000 different species of plant seeds lie awaiting germination that depends entirely on what the weather is doing. Thus every year between July and October brings a different formula, and a different selection of flowers.

The Namaqualand Flower Route lies roughly 5 hours north of Cape Town. Travelers can already see evidence of flowers even in Cape Town. A small section of the West Coast National Park close to Langebaan gets the juices flowing, but the real flower show belongs to a series of drives due north. Included in the wild flower route are the Richtersveld National Park, Geogap Nature Reserve and Skilpad Wild Flower Reserve.

It is hardly surprising that the spectacle is such a draw card to the Namaqualand, where you will need at least two to three days to take in the torrent of color and the extent of the floral display, if the desert is experiencing a good year. The flowers do not have to be approached by car alone. There are hiking and cycling routes that allow close scrutiny of the flower route’s indigenous flora, such as those in the Goegap Nature Reserve that also provide picnic spots and overnight facilities.

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