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Images: Tents:  Chief Luxury Mobile Safari Camp; Vygies:  Kate Collins

The winter rains transform Namaqua National Park into shades of pinks, yellows, oranges and just about any colour you can imagine.

In addition to photographing a wonderful array of wildflower species, you can take walks along the coast and look for some of the park’s wildlife inhabitants. At night the myriad stars echo the countless flowers adorning the fields.

Namaqua VygiesSpringbok painted petals Lapeirousia silenoides are seen along the roadsides in Namaqualand. The colourful display of bright pink flowers is best in July and August. The cream-coloured markings at its centre make this flower easy to identify.

From July to October duikerwortel Grielum humifusum carpet the reserve in beautiful yellow flowers, especially along sandy slopes. Also known as pietsnot, the plant has slimy roots and used to be a staple food of the Khoi people.

The Namaqua speckled padloper is a tiny tortoise not much bigger than a cellphone when fully grown. Its mottled shell provides excellent camouflage in the rocky surrounds.

Flower spotting tips

  • Don’t go out too early. The best time to go viewing is between 10h00 and 15h00 when the sun warms up the veld.
  • Take along a good flower guide to help you recognise the various species. We recommend Wild Flowers of Southern Africa by John Manning.
  • Never pick wildflowers! Instead, pick a viewpoint to make your photos more dramatic, such as getting close to the ground.

The African red-eyed bulbul tend to hang around the park’s camps. Listen out for a series of whistles. These small birds have red eye-rings, brown feathers and pale underparts and enjoy feasting on small insects and berries.

Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp

Chiefs luxury mobile safari camp

Stay in a luxury tented camp set up especially for the flower season from 1 August to 30 September 2011. The camp is only a few metres from the beach, so when you’re not admiring flowers you can explore the shoreline. All meals and activities are included in the rates.

Choose between two or three nights.

Bookings: 012 428 9111

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More info on the Namaqualand area

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