South Africa’s Namaqualand flowers

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Yesterday I wrote about Jacaranda in South Africa, which I miss so much.

Today I will write about the flowers in Namaqualand. On the west coast of South Africa is an extremely dry barren stretch of the country. But, once a year if the rains are good, they briefly explode into the most unbelievable rainbow of coloured flowers. Mainly daisies. As far as the eye can see. You need to be quick to be able to see them and some years are better than others, but once you have seen this beautiful display of the power of nature, you never ever forget it.

I was lucky enough to spend my honeymoon looking at these flowers!

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This site eloquently describes it thus:

Namaqualand is dry for most of the year, an arid almost desert landscape which extends along South Africa’s western coast for 600 miles. Yet when the rains are good, something like a miracle happens.  Water, the driving force of all nature, soaks in to the parched earth.  An uncountable host of flowers materialize as if from nowhere, creating an extraordinary eruption of color, transforming the countryside and dazzling the eye.

From the west coast of South Africa’s turbulent Atlantic coastline up to the little town of Garies in the south and the Orange River in the north Namaqualand languidly stretches. Justifiably the area is protected: famous for this cornucopia of flowers, daisies in particular, Namaqualand is home to exactly zero accommodation for tourists.  However, the towns and camping sites on its periphery form a fine springboard in to this incredible phenomenon.

There are more bulb flora here than in any other arid region on earth.  Over three and a half thousand plant species live here and it is thought that more than a thousand of those are found nowhere else on the planet. Little wonder that the insect life goes in to something of a breeding frenzy during the time of the daisies.

It certainly does not happen every year. The rains must not only fall but fall in the right way.  Soaking winter rains in early May and June are vital.  This must then be followed up with plenty of showers, at least one each week, through July and August. It is in the later part of that month that the explosion of life happens.

Most of these photographs were taken by Martin Heigan

Martin Heigan
mh@icon.co.za
http://anti-matter-3d.com
The Vela Supernova Remnant (Gum 16)

Namaqua-National-Park

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The Wild Flowers of Namaqualand. Garies, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa, August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

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The Wild flowers of Namaqualand (between Kamieskroon and Garies), Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa, August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

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The Wild Flowers of Namaqualand. Garies, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa, August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

The Wild Flowers of Namaqualand. Kamieskroon, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa, August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

The Wild Flowers of Namaqualand. Garies, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa, August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

The wild flowers of Clanwilliam. Cederberg, Western Cape, South Africa, August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http:\anti-matter-3d.com http:\www.flickr.comphotosmartin_heigan

Fields of Namaqua Daisies in Namaqualand. Kamieskroon, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa, August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

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The Wild Flowers of Namaqualand. Garies, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa, August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

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Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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