Each year the West Coast region of South Africa bursts into bloom with the annual spring flowers. Visitors from around the world flock to see this incredible natural phenomenon as the landscape turns orange for a few short weeks in August. Read my Namaqualand Flower Guide for a complete guide to seeing the flowers in Namaqualand, South Africa.
When to go?
Planning a trip to see the wild flowers can be a little tricky as it all depends on the rain received each year and the exact timing of the flower bloom isn’t really known until it is happening. However, I think you can be fairly certain that the last week of August is a safe bet to book your trip. It is also always best to start with the more Northern flower regions (like Namaqua National Park and Niewoudtville) as these tend to get warmer sooner and bloom sooner, ending with the more Southern flower regions (Biedouw Valley and West Coast National Park). This year we did have a lot of rain earlier in the season so it is quite possible that the flowers will bloom earlier. More rain also means more prolific flower scenes!
How long to go for?
Seeing the wild flowers can easily fit into a week long trip. For our trip we spent 2 nights in Dwarskerbos along the West Coast, 3 nights just outside Namaqua National Park, and then 2 nights in the Biedouw Valley.
Where to go to see the Flowers in Namaqualand
Dwarskersbos, West Coast
We began our flower road trip with a stop in Dwarskersbos along the West Coast. This was the perfect stop over spot to begin the trip so we could gain a bit of distance up towards the real flower region. While this wasn’t primarily a flower stop there were plenty of white daisies lining the roads here and we started to get into the flower spirit. We were close to the Vedldrif salt pan and were able to see some flamingoes and enjoy the vibrant pink salt flats. We also had a lovely walk along the Port Owen Marina which was beautiful.
We stayed at DK Villas which is the most stunning beach side holiday home. It’s within walking distance to the beach and beautifully decorated. Johan and Petra were such wonderful hosts!
Vanrhynsdorp – Maskam Guest Farm
Next up we drove up towards our accommodation near Namaqua National Park. On the way we stopped at Maskam Guest Farm near Vanrhynsdorp. This lovely private farm has walking trails open to the public. We paid a R10 entrance fee and were allowed to either drive along the farm roads to the flowers or take a walk. It was 34 degrees celcius the day we were here so we opted for the self-drive option. Unfortunately, because we had such late rains the year we went, the flowers here were not as prolific as we had hoped for. But the mounatin backdrop was gorgeous and it was lovely to see so many different flower species. Here are all the details for viewing the flowers at Maskam.
*This is a private farmland and so walking in the fields was permitted. Just be sure not to step directly on the flowers! In National Parks it is strictly forbidden to walk in the flowers.
If you are willing to drive a little further out of town on your first day and jump straight into the flowers then I would definitely recommend staying at Maskam Guest Farm for your first night. It is only a 3,5 hr drive from Cape Town and is the most beautiful setting. The winter rains have been good so far and so the flowers should be excellent here this year.
Namaqua National Park
No flower guide would be complete without a stop at the heart of Namaqualand: Namaqua National Park. As you drive up into the Northern Cape the wild flowers on the side of the road get more and more prolific with colourful vygies and daisies everywhere. Next you’ll arrive at the main event: Namaqua National Park! Namaqua National Park is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I had high hopes and every single one of my expectations was exceeded. We spent 3 nights staying just outside the park and this allowed us to spend a full day exploring Namaqua National Park and a full day exploring the Kamiesberg mountains. Both were absolutely breathtaking! To be honest you could even spend 4 nights here and have a second full day in the park.
Namaqua National Park Accommodation
We stayed in a farm house accommodation called Dwarspoort Farmhouse which was located a few minutes drive from the park entrance. It was rustic but absolutely lovely! Our hosts were so lovely and sweet. Here are the details to book the cottage:
Serene van Wyk: [email protected] 0828734299
Namaqua National Park
For your first full day in the Namaqua region you’re going to want to go into Namaqua National Park. You’re going to be entering at the Skilpad section of the park which is the main park entrance. For more information on how to get there follow the SANParks maps. You’ll be able to explore the park both on foot with a beautiful flower trail near the entrance gate, as well as by car with a drive around the flower section of the park. For those with a 4×4 and a taste for adventure there are additional routes that take you deeper into the park. You’ll easily spend the whole day here so make sure you pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the picnic spots.
Daily Conservation Fees
Daily Conservation fees for 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023
|South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)||R52 per adult, per day
R26 per child, per day
|SADC Nationals (with passport)||R104 per adult, per day
R52 per child, per day
|Standard Conservation Fee (International Visitors)||R104 per adult, per day
R52 per child, per day
- 08:00 to 17:00
The park opens at 8am but the flowers will need a bit of time to warm up and open up. However, you’re also going to want to try get here before the tour buses start arriving. So perhaps around 9:30am is a good time to aim to get here.
Once you’ve arrived and paid your park fees at the gate you can park your car at reception. Here you can go in and get a map for the flower walking trails. There are two options of walking trails available to you. Both provide a wonderful opportunity to walk among the fields of wildflowers along demarcated paths. I would recommend packing comfortable walking shoes, some water and hat as it gets pretty hot here in August! The walking trail was one of my absolute highlights of this flower roadtrip and is definitely what sets Namaqua apart from West Coast National Park.
Here are your trail options:
Skilpad Walking Trail. This 5km circular route is a very popular walking trail, especially in the flower season.
Korhaan Walking Trail. The 3km Korhaan Walking trail also starts at the Skilpad office but meanders through bushy areas, enabling you to see a greater variety of flowers.
Once you have completed the walking trail through the flowers you can hop back in your car and drive the Skilpad Flower Loop. This is a circular loop suitable for all cars (not 4×4 exclusive) and takes you through the most gorgeous carpeted fields of orange flowers. There are a few picnics spots along this route so stop at one and enjoy the view while munching on your lunch.
Both the walking trails and this self-drive Skilpad flower route will allow you to see all the incredible flowers of the park. However, if you have a 4×4 and are up for a bit more of an adventure there are multiple other routes you can follow to explore the park a bit further. The scenery as you go deeper into the park resembles that of Namibia and is absolutely gorgeous!
Kamieskroon & Kamiesberg
Before coming to Namaqua National Park I hadn’t heard of the Kamiesberg mountains or that it is one of the top flower locations in the region. We discovered this fact in a 1984 copy of Namqualand: Garden of the Gods book written by Freeman Pattersonn. Patterson spoke of rolling hills covered in pastel colours and flowers as far as the eye could see. We asked our hosts about it (as there was no cell signal to Google anything) and they sent us off armed with some handwritten directions to a local guesthouse, Pedroskloof, in the Kamiesberg mountains. We were told the guesthouse owners would be able to give us the next set of instructions to find the promised land of flowers. They told us where to go from there. Here are the detailed directions for you to follow:
Drive towards Kamieskroon (a small town just off the N7) and turn left up the Kamiesberg Pass. Once you have gone over the pass you will continue driving until you reach Thys se Kombuis. Here you can turn left and continue on towards Pedroskloof Farm Accommodation. Here it may be worth checking in with the guesthouse for confirmation on where the flowers are blooming at that particular time.
From Pedroskloof you will continue driving for another 30 minutes. You will pass through 2 rural villages, Rooifontein and Kalkoond before you see a gate on your left. You are free to enter this gate and drive down the dirt road to fields and fields of flowers. On the right of the main road there is a quiver tree forest which is well worth visiting!
I absolutely adored both our time spent in the Namaqua Region exploring both the Namaqua National Park and the Kamiesberg mountains. This was our Nothern-most stop and so we then began our journey down south again towards the Biedouw Valley, stopping at Niewoudtville and Papkuilsfontein along the way.
Niewoudtville & Papkuilsfontein
Both located on the drive between Kamieskroon and the Biedouw Valley, Nievoudtville and Papkuilsfontein make for worthy pit stops along the way. Nievoudtville is a small Nothern Cape town with a number of plots of glorious flowers dotted around the town. There are also a few restaurants here for a lunch stop.
We didn’t go into Papkuilsfontein but drove past and saw a pair of bat-earred foxes in the yellow blooms which was a treat sighting! Previously, day visitors could pay the Papkuilsfontain Guestfarm a visit to admire the gorgeous flower fields but since August 2022, the farm is only accessible by booked guests staying at the farm. If you are looking to take a slower trip through the Namaqua region this looks like a lovely spot to add to your itinerary.
The Biedouw Valley is pure magic! I had visited the Biedouw Valley previously just for a weekend getaway from Cape Town but decided to include it in the Namaqualand Flower Itinerary because it was just so special. The Biedouw Valley is an area of farmland in the Cederberg region that is usually farmed for rooibos tea. In the spring months the farmers don’t turn the soil and let the fields grow wild, resulting in the most beautiful display of wild flowers in the fields.
Bideouw Valley Accommodation
When I previously visited the Biedouw Valley it was a bit of a last minute trip and we didn’t manage to get a booking for accomodation inside the actual valley. We stayed at Traveller’s Rest in Rocklands (a 30 minute drive away) and while it was gorgeous I knew that for the next time I wanted to stay in the actual valley itself. Nothing could compare to the magic of witnessing the mountains turn the same colour colour as the flower fields at golden hour. So I would absolutely recommend trying to find accomodation in the valley itself. We stayed at the original Biedeau Plaas which was a lovely old farm house (contact Rika at [email protected] 0835120281). Friends of our stayed at Biedouw Valley Wegbreek which has rustic cottages nestled in the rocky mountains and Enjo Nature Farm is another gorgeous option.
For all the juicy details on how to get to the Biedouw Valley and where to find the best flower fields you can go ahead and read my Spring Flowers in the Biedouw Valley blog post.
The flower diversity in the Biedouw Valley was definitely the best with some many gorgeous difference species.
And so concludes the Complete Guide to seeing the Flowers in Namaqualand, South Africa. These spots are perfect when incorporated into a 7-10 day road trip. However if you are just looking for a weekend getaway from Cape Town then the Biedouw Valley is only 3,5 hours away. If you are just looking for a day trip there are plenty of places to see the wild flowers close to Cape Town: see daisies in the West Coast National Park, canola fields in the Overberg region and blossoms in Babylonstoren. Read my Spring Flowers in Cape Town blog post for all these details.