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Rainfall, Skilpad section, Namaqua National Park:

March 2013: 38.09mm (most of it on 29-31 March)

April 2013: 46.74mm

May 2013: 12.69mm

June 2013: 76.71mm

July 2013: 30.99mm

August 2013: 13.73mm (to date)

We had very early, good rains in March and April, and then a hot dry spell in May. It seems as if the flowers are earlier than normal for Skilpad and some sections of the park. It is very difficult to predict how the season will actually turn out towards September, but hopefully with the current good rains it could last a while.

Constant soft rain has fallen the past few days, with more today. More rain is predicted in the following few days, interspersed with sunny days.

Orange daisies (Ursinia sp.) are still the dominant species at Skilpad. Varkiesknol (Herria elongata), in particular, are blooming in big patches. Cattails (Bulbinella latifolia) are now at their peak in the small section where they occur in the park. Other species appearing are Meidesterte ((Lapeirosia sp.); Sporries (Heliophila sp) and Bobbejaantjies (Babiana sp).

If you have a 4×4 vehicle the coastal section from the Spoeg river to the Groen river excellent. We expect the coastal flowers to last quite a while.

The N7 all the way from Van Rhyns Dorp to Steinkopf has some very good patches on the roadside and adjacent land, particularly purple vygies.

The road to Skilpad from Kamieskroon has been graded but has some slight rain damage.

Report by Bernard van Lente (Park Manager for Namaqua National Park).