Namaqualand is considered the flower capital, with its fields of brightly coloured daisies proving this epitaph correct. Each year from August to October, the Namaqualand desert explodes in an exciting array of colour and beauty. However, other than this spectacle of nature, there are other activities and sights to enjoy in this unique area of the continent.
In Namaqualand, there are several exciting game reserve options for those who enjoy being one with nature. From your accommodation in local resorts such as Country Hotels, you can make a day of driving around the area visiting the variety of options.
Choose from the 15000ha Goegap Nature Reserve near Springbok, which offers intriguing game drives and a plethora of flora to admire and discover, or the Namaqualand National Park, known for its unique flora and fauna. Immerse yourself in nature and discover the unique animals of the area, such as the cute bat-eared fox and the majestic black eagle, as well as the rare and endangered Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.
This might sound like an odd attraction to visit, especially in a place that is known more for its desert daisies but it is sure to be an interesting sight. The Aristea Shipwreck can be found in Hondeklipbaai, where it met its end in 1945.
The story of the shipwreck includes a tipsy captain and some unruly waters, which lead to her demise. Examining and photographing this unique shipwreck will give you hours of intriguing fun, and you can also spend a day at the beach at the same time. Learn more about the history of the area by seeing this wreck for yourself.
For those who enjoy doing more adventurous activities while on holiday, the cycle trails around Kamieskroon are the ideal choice for a family activity. Seeing the flowers in full bloom while cycling along these trails is a transporting experience, one that you will remember for years to come.
You will also be able to spot some of the animals who live in the area without the confines of a constricted vehicle. For a family with younger children, choose the route in Leliefontein, which is a short 8.2km ride, and for those who want something more challenging there is the 38km circular Nourivier Route. The best time of year to go is when the weather is perfect for the daisies, August or September, and the days tend to be cooler and more pleasant for bike riding.
If you are looking for a serious adventure, and are along the banks of the stunning Orange River, then the Namaqua 4x4 eco trail is for you. It travels the length of the Orange River from Pella all the way to where it meets the cool Atlantic Ocean, between Alexander Bay and Oranjemund.
This journey is not for the faint hearted but is an exciting way to see some of the natural beauty of our country. There are campsites to stop and relax at along the way, and the roads will take you into a national park full of unique vegetation and wildlife. Enjoy the gorgeous vistas as you rough it, and come home with photographs to rival any National Geographic cover.
The Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp is situated in the Namaqua National Park, close to the beach. This camp operates when the flowers are in full bloom so guests get the full experience of the gorgeous floral display. Spend the day in awe of the daisies while going for a dip in the close-by waters… what could possibly be more relaxing?
Each person, couple or family receives a private mobile tent to spend the night in, including beds, soft comfortable duvets, hot blankets and electric lights, the luxury of a hot shower, chemical flush toilet and dressing room. Experience the true wonder of nature morning and night at this luxury beach camp.
Visiting one of the historic churches in the area is an experience in itself. These buildings have withstood the test of time and have a long history behind them. The Methodist Church in Leliefontein is the second oldest church in Namaqualand, with its mission going back as far as 1816. It stands today and is still in use by the congregation.
Another significant religious monument in the area is the Pella mission station. The building material for this station was carved out of the Oriverrange by donkeys, and it took nearly seven years to complete. It was closed in 1872 due to drought, but reopened by the Catholic Church in 1878. It is also the site of the second largest date plantation in the Southern Hemisphere.
No matter what you decide to do when visiting Namaqualand, you will have a unique and exciting experience. This area of the world is known for its quirkiness and stunning natural vistas, so pack your bags and head out to watch the daisies, discover new animals or simply watch the sun set over the ocean.