Northern Cape: flower season hotspots
Want to take your Northern Cape flower season experience up a notch? We’ve rounded up a few reserves in the province of extremes where you can stroll amid the flowers, enjoy adrenaline-pumping adventures and take in the spectacular views.
Skilpad Wildflower Reserve
Half of the floral species in the Namaqualand region, which forms part of the Succulent Karoo along the west coast of South Africa, are found in no other habitat in the world. Here visitors can view a large variety of succulent and wildflower species.
Accommodation options available include the Namaqua Flower Skilpad Camp and the Skilpad Rest Camp self-catering chalets.
Goegap Nature Reserve
The Goegap Nature Reserve is a treasure trove for those who want to experience the flower season, as well as for birding enthusiasts. The granite domes and peaks that dominate the reserve make for spectacular views, especially in spring when the flowers blossom amid the rocks.
The reserve, just 15km south-east of Springbok, the main town of the Namaqualand region, hosts indigenous flora, particularly succulents.
Wildlife that visitors can view here includes springbok, gemsbok, mountain zebra and more than 90 bird species. Those who want to further explore the region’s heritage and indigenous flora can visit the Hester Malan Wildflower Garden – an information centre that explains Namaqualand's plant life.
The garden, which is located within the reserve, has an exhibition of Namaqualand succulents, as well as a rock garden. The reserve also has a 17km loop that visitors drive or walk along to explore the grounds. Families can also enjoy picnic sites, hiking, mountain-bike trails and several 4x4 trails.
Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve
The Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve is a test of endurance for avid hikers and a feast for the eyes of nature lovers during the flower season.
The reserve, situated just 16km outside Nieuwoudtville, is one of the town’s prime viewing spots for flower season. It boasts 4 776ha of mountains, deep river gorges, caves and plateaus that make for stunning views and challenging hiking trails.
Accommodation options available at the reserve include cottages, hikers' huts (which can accommodate larger groups of people) and campsites.