There is now a new place added in the list of tourists’ most favourite national parks to visit and this place is Namaqua national park. Located in the country of South Africa, this land of contrast is a home to a thousand species of spring wild flowers and succulent plants of the world. Opened with a vision of protecting the different species of flora, today this park has developed as one of the main tourist attractions in the country.
Full of all the natural wonders that one can imagine, this park gives you an essence of what paradise feels like! In the day time, you get to walk on pathways amidst the colorful blooming flowers underneath the clear blue sky creating a mesmerizing picturesque view that will leave you awestruck for days!
As you walk through the flower fields at night under the star-studded sky, you will feel the cool breeze touching your face coming from the icy atlantics filling you with sheer happiness. Namaqua National Park shelters thousands of such species that can be found nowhere in the world. Thus Namaqua National Park is a place worth visiting if you want to get exposed to a wide species of flora and fauna at one place.
About Namaqua National Park
Namaqua National Park is a semi-natural reserve which is located 495 km north of Cape Town and 22 km northwest of Kamieskroon, in South Africa. This park was officially opened for the public in August, 1999. Spread over an area of 700 km sq, this park is a biome of several species of flora and fauna that you would not find anywhere else in the world. The main purpose of opening this park was to work towards the conservation of the wildlife and flora which were found in the dry regions of the world. The park is mainly located in Namaqualand which lies within the succulent Karoo.
There are a numerous of reasons for the ever growing popularity of this park. Spread over a wide stretch of land, this park shelters 5000 different species of plants, animals and of course our favourite the flowers! The main reasons to visit this park are as given below-
- The spring flower display: Every year this park holds a display of the stunningly beautiful blooming wild flowers in the month of spring. The whole lands gets covered with the 1000 different species of vibrant brightly coloured flowers that create an awe inspiring view which will make go numb.
- Succulent plant species: This is not just like any other plant. It holds 44% species of plants which are endemic and 18% of species of plants which are endangered. Not only this, it also aims on preserving the plants which are found mostly in the dry regions of the world and have not been seen by majority of the human population. The quiver tees and the uncommon plants together create a lush green environment and a perfect condition for the rich biome diversity to evolve.
- Rich diversity of wildlife: This park is not only famous for its diverse flowers and plant species but for also for its surprisingly rich diversity of wildlife. This land is a home to animals like Leopard; Black backed jackal, Porcupine, Klipspringer, Aardvark, Baboon, Steenbok, Duiker and many more. Also it creates a perfect habitat for the amphibians and the reptiles to exist as well. You can also find Speckled Padloper, which is the world’s smallest known tortoise!
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Best Time To Visit
Located in the province of Northern Cape, near South Africa’s border with Namibia, the climate of this place is hot and humid in summers and has a variable cold temperature in the winter season with occasional rainfall. Thus it falls under the region of winter rainfall of South Africa. Being a semi deserted park, it receives rainfall more often between May and August. Thus after considering all the climatic conditions of this place, the best time to visit this land is spring.
In the spring season, this land is neither too cold nor too hot and humid. The temperature is quite equable and joyous. And the best part for coming in spring is that this park holds a display of more than 1000 of bright colourful wildflowers on a large stretch of land which is also the main tourist attraction of this place. The park is opened from 8 am to 5 pm during the spring season. So make sure that you visit this park between these times.
There are a few things that you must keep in mind while you visit the park.
- Make sure that you visit these parks between 10:30 am to 4 pm because that’s when the flowers bloom at their best!
- Also pets are not allowed in this park so make sure you don’t carry them with you.
- If you are visiting there during the flowering season then make sure that you take the 5km circular drive that you take you the viewpoints and enjoy the breathtaking flower display and the short nature trails.
- Also plucking of any flower or plant is an offence to the rule so avoid any such activity.
- They also have facilities for general and medical service in case if it is needed.
- You can visit the education centers to make yourselves more aware about the park.
And on top of everything, this is your wonderful lifetime experience so make sure you enjoy it to the fullest!
Places To Stay At
This place is visited by nearly 100,000 tourists per year. Thus to maintain this number this park provides the best accommodation facilities to make their guests feel like home and prefer to come again. But since this park is located in a desolated place and the nearest shop is 22km away from it, they have made all the accommodation facilities available in and around the region of this park.
- Skilpad Rest Camp: This camp consists of four highly maintained and well equipped chalets. Each chalet has a room for two to three people. There is also one chalet that is made available especially for the disabled people.
- Luiperdskloof (leopard’s ridge) Guest Cottage- This is yet another accommodation facility. It has three nice bedrooms. All of these bedrooms can easily accommodate 4 people at once. Also it is attached to the 4 by 4 trail just so that can head out to the park.
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Things To Do
There are a lot of activities you can get yourselves indulged in as you explore this national park. Listed below are some of these activities you can consider when planning your visit here!
1. Watching the wildflowers
Your visit to the Namaqua National Park would only be considered to be complete if and only if you experience the 1000 different species of wildflowers blooming together in the spring creating an alluring picturesque sight which will leave you mesmerized for days. Words simply can’t describe what you will feel when you see this display for the first time!
2. Camping in coastal area
Yes! This park also has a coastal area section and 31 different rustic campsites where you can spend your whole days enjoying the starry night sky. Make sure you take some necessary things along like food, drinking water, and other things as there is no facility available on this site except for the breathtaking view that you don’t want to miss. Also hire a satellite phone as you reach the Groen River Gate from the duty manager who will be present there because normal cell phones will not work! You can also a glimpse of Dolphins and oystercatchers easily.
3. Strolling on the 4*4 trails
The best way to explore this nation park is by walking through the 4*4 trail that will give you the best scenic view including the quiver trees, and animals including the world’s smallest tortoise Groen River and other rock formation which look so artistic. This route is 176 to 200 km long. You can drive up and down the hills and discover some of the oldest settlements at Koeroebees.
How To Reach
This park is located in the Northern Cape and is 67 km south of Springbok. So you have to take two modes of transport with which you can reach there.
The closest airport to this town is the International Cape Town Airport. After reaching this place, you take the road transport to Namaqua national park
- Road transport
From Cape Town, there is a five hour long drive on the N7 national road. The closest town to this national park is Kamieskroon. So once you reach here, pass under the N7 turning on to a road which is mostly of gravel and then drive for another 17 km and finally you will reach the destination.
Thus the Namaqua National Park is a place which has beauty of its own. The scenic sight of spring wildflower display and the diverse wildlife species will make you fall in love with this land and its richness. So a visit to the Namaqua national park is going to be full of sightseeing of the natural wonders of. Make sure you visit this place in your trip to South Africa.