Northern Cape Tourist AttractionsHester Malan Flower Garden
Where? In the Goegap Nature Reserve, 10 east of of Springbok, Namaqualand, Northern Cape
How? Call +27 (0)27 718-9906
The Hester Malan Flower Garden is a feast for sore eyes during spring when the wild flowers come into show in full force. The garden is in the Goegap Nature Reserve about 10 km east of Springbok, close to the Augrabies Falls National Park and the Riemvasmaak Community Conservancy.
The garden was established in 1960 and it is around this that the reserve grew to include the adjoining farm, Goegap ('waterhole' in Khoikhoi).
The garden is 4 500 hectares of sandy meadowland interspersed with granite boulders of varying size. Out of season the garden is still worth a visit, with a section of succulent plants and a rock garden.
Goegap Nature Reserve supports over 600 different indigenous plants in its characteristic granite domed landscape. Hester Malan is well known for its diversity serving as an annual drawcard to the reserve. Every spring is different: some springs are alive with orange gazanias, the next dominated by a carpet of snow white flowers, depending on the rain fall.
From the Hester Malan Garden is a 17 km loop that visitors drive to explore the reserve, although you could walk it too, depending on the time of day (spring is best, when the days are not too hot).
The best way to see the flowers is to get in amongst them and to slowly differentiate one species from the next. The Ian Myers Nature Walks are a network of trails named after Ian Myers the naturalist (he led groups of visitors through the Namaqualand for years). The circular trails are in the south-western section of the Goegap Reserve and range from 4 km to 7 km.
Springbok, although quite far from Cape Town (550km) for some visitors who use the Mother City as a base from which to explore, is one of the best areas to see the flowers. Even when the rains have not been good and flowers are thin on the ground, you are bound to find patches of pink fygies and yellow daisies close to town.