Now a new place has been added to the list of most favorite national parks for tourists to visit and this place is Namaqua National Park. Located in the country of South Africa, this land of contrasts is home to over a thousand species of the world’s spring wild flowers and lush plants. Opened with a view to conserve various species of flora, this park has today developed into one of the major tourist attractions of the country.
Filled with all the natural wonders that one can imagine, this park makes you feel like heaven! During the day, you get a chance to walk on a path amidst colorful blooming flowers under the clear blue sky, creating a mesmerizing picturesque view that will leave you in awe for days!
As you walk through the flower fields under the starry night sky, you will feel the cool breeze coming from the icy Atlantic touching your face which will fill you with immense joy. Namaqua National Park supports thousands of species found nowhere else in the world. Thus, if you want to get acquainted with a wide variety of flora and fauna in one place then Namaqua National Park is a place worth visiting.
About Namaqua National Park
Namaqua National Park is a semi-natural reserve located 495 km north of Cape Town and 22 km northwest of Kamieskroon in South Africa. The park was officially opened to the public in August, 1999. Spread over an area of 700 km square, this park is a biome of many species of flora and fauna that you will not find anywhere else in the world. The main objective of opening this park was to work towards the conservation of wildlife and flora found in the dry regions of the world. The park is located primarily in Namaqualand within the lush Karoo.
There are many reasons for the ever increasing popularity of this park. Spread over a vast land, this park shelters 5000 different species of plants, animals and of course our favorite flowers! The main reasons to visit this park are given below-
- Spring Flower Display: Every year this park displays stunningly beautiful blooming wild flowers during the spring months. The entire land gets covered with vibrant brightly colored flowers of 1000 different species creating an awe-inspiring sight that will stun.
- Succulent Plant Species: It is not like any other plant. It has 44% plant species that are endemic and 18% plant species that are endangered. Not only this, it also aims to preserve plants that are mostly found in dry areas of the world and have not been visited by most of the human population. The quivering tees and unusual plants together create a lush green environment and an ideal condition for the growth of rich biome diversity.
- Rich diversity of wildlife: The park is famous not only for its diverse flower and plant species but also for its surprisingly rich diversity of wildlife. This land is home to animals like leopards; black-backed jackal, porcupine, klipspringer, aardvark, baboon, steinbok, duiker and many others. It also creates an ideal habitat for the survival of amphibians and reptiles. You can also find the Speckled Padloper, the world’s smallest known turtle!
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Best time to visit
Located in the Northern Cape province, near South Africa’s border with Namibia, the climate of this place is hot and humid in summer and cool with occasional rainfall in the winter season. Thus it falls under the winter rainfall region of South Africa. Being a semi-deserted park, it receives most of the rainfall between May and August. Thus after considering all the climatic conditions of this place, the best time to visit this land is spring.
In spring this land is neither too cold nor too hot and humid. The temperature is quite balanced and pleasant. And the best thing about visiting in spring is that this park has a display of more than 1000 brightly colored wild flowers on a large area of land which is also the main tourist attraction of this place. The park is open from 8 am to 5 pm during the spring season. So make sure you visit this park between these times.
You should keep some things in mind while going for a walk in the park.
- Make sure you visit these parks between 10:30 am and 4 pm as that is when the flowers bloom at their best!
- Also pets are not allowed in this park, so make sure you do not take them with you.
- If you are visiting during the flowering season make sure you take the 5km circular drive which takes you to view points and enjoy the breathtaking flower displays and short nature trails.
- Also, plucking any flower or plant is also a violation of the rules, so avoid any such activity.
- They also have facilities for general and medical services if needed.
- You can visit education centers to make yourself more aware about the park.
And most of all, it is an amazing experience of your lifetime so make sure you enjoy it to the fullest!
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places to stay
Around 100,000 tourists visit this place every year. Thus to maintain this number the park provides the best accommodation facilities to its guests to make them feel at home and love to visit again. But since this park is situated in a desolate place and the nearest shop is 22 km away from it, they have provided all the accommodation facilities in and around the area of this park.
- Turtle Rest Camp: This camp has four highly maintained and well-equipped bungalows. Each bungalow has a room for two to three people. There is also a chalet which has been specially made available for people with disabilities.
- Luipardskloof (Leopard’s Ridge) Guest Cottages- This is another accommodation facility. It has three good bedrooms. 4 people can easily stay together in all these bedrooms. Apart from this, it is connected with a 4 by 4 path to lead to the park.
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things to do
There are many activities you can indulge in while visiting this national park. Listed below are some of these activities that you may want to consider when planning your trip here!
1. Viewing wild flowers
Your visit to Namaqua National Park will only be considered complete if you experience 1000 different species of wild flowers blooming together in spring creating a fascinating picturesque view that will leave you mesmerized for days. Words can’t describe what you feel when you see this display for the first time!
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2. Camping in coastal area
Yes! The park also has a coastal area section and 31 different rustic campsites where you can spend your entire day enjoying the starry night sky. Make sure you carry some essentials like food, drinking water and other things as there are no amenities available at this site apart from the breathtaking view which you would not want to miss. Also rent a satellite phone from the duty manager who will be there once you arrive at the Groton River Gate as normal cell phones will not work! You can also easily catch a glimpse of dolphins and oystercatchers.
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3. Strolling on 4*4 trails
The best way to explore this national park is to walk through the 4*4 trail which will give you the best natural views including the quivering trees, and animals including the world’s smallest turtle the Groen River and other rock formations which look very artistic . This route is 176 to 200 km long. You can drive up and down the hills and discover some of the oldest settlements in Koerboes.
how to reach
The park is located in the Northern Cape and 67 km south of Springbok. So you will have to take two means of transport with the help of which you can reach there.
The nearest airport to this city is Cape Town International Airport. After reaching this place, you take road transport to Namaqua National Park
- road transport
From Cape Town, it is a five-hour long drive on the N7 national road. The nearest town to this national park is Kamiskrun. So once you reach here, go under the N7 and turn onto the road which is mostly gravel and then drive another 17 km and finally you will reach the destination.
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Thus Namaqua National Park is a place that has its own beauty. The beautiful display of wild flowers and diverse wildlife species in spring will make you fall in love with this land and its richness. So a trip to Namaqua National Park will be full of sightseeing of natural wonders. Make sure you visit this place on your trip to South Africa.
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