As a portion of the Succulent Karoo, Namaqualand forms part of the only arid hotspot in the world; is a biodiversity hotspot and boasts the richest succulent flora on Earth

Northern Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Namaqualand Region

Namaqualand extends from the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast, to the little town of Pofadder in the east, to the Orange River in the north, south to Garies, and includes the Hantam Karoo, along the southern border of the Northern Cape.

Where? Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa

Overnight? See Namaqualand accommodation, in Northern Cape

Regarded as a portion of the Succulent Karoo, Namakwa (Namaqualand) forms part of the only arid hotspot in the world; is regarded as a biodiversity hotspot, and as such boasts the richest succulent flora on Earth.

The Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape is imbued with the story of the Namaqualand daisies; a brimming over of fertile flowers that transform the almost lifeless Namaqualand into an exquisite floral display of beauty during spring. One for which people are more than willing to enter the hinterland of South Africa’s Northern Cape, to discover that the unspoilt vastness of Namaqualand and Hantam Karoo, which make up Namaqualand, is far more than an area of sweltering extremes and dry earth under unforgiving skies.

Namaqualand is indeed a thirsty earth, but one that is fascinating to travel. For visitors the explosion of wild flowers along the flower route from Springbok’s Goegap Nature Reserve to Kamieskroon’s Skilpad Wild Flower Reserve, is a phenomenon that combines incredible landscapes through remote little towns, like Pofadder, the Richtersveld National Park, the Hester Malan Wild Flower Garden, and the Namaqua National Park. The narrow window between July and September, in which the Namkwa casts off its dowdy desert cloak to transform its barrenness, relies heavily on good rainfall just before spring.

But then the Namaqualand is not its flowers alone. Little historic towns that include quaint names like Kamieskroon, Aggeneys, Garies and Nieuwoudtville, are as much a part of the landscape as the incredible flora.

Popular Towns in the Namaqualand Region

Alexander Bay

Overnight? Accommodation in Alexander Bay
Way up the west coast of South Africa, virtually on the border with Namibia in a region known simply as Little Namaqualand, is Alexander Bay. There is nothing more northerly than this seaside town that lies on the mouth of the Orange River...

More information and photographs: Alexander Bay Information


Overnight? Accommodation Eksteenfontein
Eksteenfontein lies on the southern verge of the Richtersveld World Heritage Site, west of Nababeep, in the north western reaches of the Northern Cape. It is one of three little settlements within the Richtersveld Community Conservancy. The...

More information and photographs: Eksteenfontein Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Garies
To describe Garies as in the middle of nowhere does not do any damage to the reputation of the town (for those who stay here, particularly during the spring flower revolution, will come anyway). The average person after a Namaqualand 'dorp'...

More information and photographs: Garies Information

Hondeklip Bay

Overnight? Accommodation in Hondeklip Bay
Enjoy the ultimate in untouched peace and tranquillity when you visit the little village of Hondeklip Bay. This coastal town, (also spelt Honeklipbaai) is secluded on the Northern Cape shoreline, in the picturesque Namakwa District of South Africa...

More information and photographs: Hondeklip Bay Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Kamieskroon
Kamieskroon, just off the N7 between Garies and Springbok and 20 km west of the Namaqua National Park, lies in the midst of the Northern Cape's flower route, resting in amongst a series of huge, angular granite hills and distinctive kopjies...

More information and photographs: Kamieskroon Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Khuboes
Khuboes is one of several communities in the Richtersveld World Heritage Site. The others are Eksteenfontein, Lekkersing, Sanddrift, Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay. But it is Eksteenfontein and Khuboes that border on the main part of the conservancy...

More information and photographs: Khuboes Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Kleinzee
Set on the coast, Kleinzee (sometimes referred to as Kleinsee) was a diamond mining town. Tourists visited as part of the diamond route. Until De Beers closed their mining operations. By the end of 2011 the 370 houses in Kleinzee were mostly...

More information and photographs: Kleinzee Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Lekkersing
The Richtersveld in the Northern Cape is home to only a few villages. One of them lies 60 km east of Port Nolloth, and 100 km north of Springbok. Its name is Lekkersing (sing sweetly). Its a quiet little village with under 650 residents...

More information and photographs: Lekkersing Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Leliefontein
Namaqualand is the least populated part of the country, due to the bleak, desert-like climate and the mountainous landscape. Leliefontein is one of the little towns in this harsh region, a pretty historic village that lies between Kamieskroon...

More information and photographs: Leliefontein Information

McDougalls Bay

Overnight? Accommodation McDougalls Bay
McDougall's Bay is a collection of seaside cottages, homes and camp sites a stone's throw south of Port Nolloth on the West Coast, in the Northern Cape. Its beach has blue flag status and it is something of a playground for Namaqualanders...

More information and photographs: McDougalls Bay Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Nababeep
Little over 20 km north west of Springbok lies the small village of Nababeep, a former copper-mining town in the heart of the Namaqualand, its quaint sounding name an amalgamation of two Nama words – 'naba' or hump of an animal, and...

More information and photographs: Nababeep Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Okiep
The mining settlement of Okiep is situated in the Northern Cape part of the Namaqualand and, while small and secluded, was once the pivotal point of the richest copper mining region on earth. It was established in 1862 and is part of the...

More information and photographs: Okiep Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Pella
Probably one of the most beautiful provincial cathedrals in the country is at Pella, an oasis bedecked with palm dates close to Pofadder. This beautiful golden building has quite a story attached to it. It was built by a couple of French...

More information and photographs: Pella Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Pofadder
The very little town of Pofadder lies surrounded by rugged, sparsely populated and very scenic countryside. Here locals make their money from sheep or goats farming, and there seems little more to entice you to visit the town than its...

More information and photographs: Pofadder Information

Port Nolloth

Overnight? Accommodation in Port Nolloth
What today is essentially a fishing village, Port Nolloth lies on the bay known by the indigenous Namaqua people as Aukwatowa (where the water took away the old man) - it was the last landfall the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias sighted...

More information and photographs: Port Nolloth Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Springbok
The pretty town of Springbok is found in the heart of the Namaqualand within spitting distance of other typical Namaqualand towns like Alexander Bay, Pofadder, Garies, Kleinzee and Port Nolloth, 570 kilometres north of Cape Town. Originally...

More information and photographs: Springbok Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Verneukpan
Imagine a place that is bone dry. Bone dry and very, very flat. And as far as the eye can see it remains flat – not a tree, a building or a hill in sight. Although you will see the odd fence because, believe it or not, what surrounds you is...

More information and photographs: Verneukpan Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Vioolsdrift
Springbok might be regarded as the last major town en route to Namibia from Cape Town but the little town of Vioolsdrift serves as a border post that lies virtually on the border with Namibia, on the south bank of the Orange River. Legend...

More information and photographs: Vioolsdrift Information

Did you know?

Also known as the Daisy Route, the Cape wild flowers draw thousands of visitors a year to the semi-desert of the Namaqualand, annually metamorphosed into a profusion of blooms. Just after the first winter rains what was desert comes to life and the Karoo and Kalahari’s dry grey scrub bursts with colour.

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