The Namaqualand Spring Flower Power Desert in South Africa

Namaqualand Spring Flowers
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The flowering of a 600-mile strip of coastal desert in Namaqualand is a lesser-known spectacle in Africa. Once a year the land becomes carpeted with blooms, in a similar way to the phenomenon of the Flowered Desert in Chile. Plants compete to attract their pollinators with colour, as the water is scarce and the show will not last long.

This marvel featured an episode of David Attenborough's Africa series. Several teams from BBC were sent in sometimes, long expeditions, just to get a few precious minutes of footage for the final cut. Africa: Eye to Eye is the result of four years of work, and has amazed the world looking for new species, new behaviors and new ways and styles of filming. From all these tones of wonder, we are visiting in this report the Namaqualand's florid explosion that takes place every summer in the west coast of South Africa:

A photographic tour to the blooming desert plants

Namaqua Tourism
Polychrome fields. The semi-desert landscape of Namaqualand shows very little flora during most of the year. It's not after the winter's rains, in August and September when the Spring inflames the arid fields.
Image by Martin Heigan / Image on top by Sam Agnew


Namaqua National Park
Thanks to the vehicles in the background we can assert that we are not on drugs.
Image by Sam Agnew


hay-fever daisies
Daisies overdose. This is the hay-fever sufferers apocalypse.
Image by Sam Agnew


Namakwa Flowers
Contrast: no need to cheat saturating colours, nature is here to help.
Image by Sam Agnew


Fields of flowers
There's someone else that can't miss the party: millions of insects in a breeding frenzy. Namaqualand grows a large variety of flowers that can't be seen anywhere else in the world. Image by Sam Agnew

When are the flowers blooming in Namaqualand?

Namaqualand flowers dates
You can enjoy the show from early to mid August. The Cederberg area season goes from early to late August. The West Coast can be visited from late August to early September. Image by Frames-of-Mind


Skilpad Wildflower Reserve
Only small areas of this ecosystem are protected, like Namaqua National Park and Skilpad Wildflower Reserve. Image by Malcolm Manners


South Africa flowered hills
Even the hills are literally paved in blooms.
Image by Malcolm Manners


Park paved in flowers
Timelapsers alert: why not filming this annual dazzling transformation?
Image by Martin Heigan


Namaqualand Flowers Best Time
The sole issue is predicting the best time to be in Namaqualand, as the flowers burst into life depending on rains. Image by Martin Heigan


Postberg Flower Reserve
Also going south, the Postberg Reserve is a great place to view flowers close to the seaside.
Image by Alison Westwood


South African cactus plants
These lands have a high concentration of succulent plants, the ones that are thicker and fatter to retain water, like cactus. Image by Martin Heigan


Succulent Karoo
Although this one is from the neighboring Namibia, we wanted to show you this succulent plant in all its delicious shape. Image by Martin Heigan


Africa Eye to Eye
A last bath in orange before to go.
Image by Sam Agnew


Richtersveld Park
Nice setting. Wild donkeys live in these fields of flowers. Now that we we specialize in filming locations, the South African scenery has been featured in multiple productions recently, like the Blood & Water Netflix series set in Parkhurst High School in Cape Town. Image by Martin Heigan



David Attenborough's Africa series is, we could say, the definitive documentary about this massive continent; Exploring from the Atlas mountains in the north, right the way across to the Cape of Good Hope. From Ethiopian Highlands across to where the Congo rainforest meets the sea.

Here is the trailer from the series not to be missed - Africa: Eye to eye with the unknown.



View a larger Namaqualand Flowers Map

 

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