Desert bloom is a climatic phenomenon that occurs in various deserts around the world. The phenomenon consists of the blossoming of a wide variety of flowers during early-mid spring in years when rainfall is unusually high.
The blossoming occurs when the unusual level of rainfall reach the seeds and bulbs that have been in a latent or dormant state and causes them to germinate and flower in early spring. It is accompanied by the proliferation of insects, birds and small species of lizards.
Namaqualand is an arid region of Namibia and South Africa, extending along the west coast over 1,000 kilometres and covering a total area of 440,000 square kilometres. It is divided by the lower course of the Orange River into two portions – Little Namaqualand to the south and Great Namaqualand to the north.
The area’s landscape ranges from an unexploited coastal strip in the west to semidesert areas in the north-east. Famed for its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, its wild flowers during spring, its wealth of minerals and cultural history, Namaqualand is a popular region for international and local tourists. The Namakwa coastline and the banks of the Orange River are popular for their hiking and 4×4 trails and routes.
The beginning of the flower season varies from year to year but it usually occurs between August and October. The natural landscape is continually monitored with the first sign of spring and flower season being the arrival of Namakwa daisies. When purple vygies bloom, spring is coming to an end.
The Namaqua National Park is situated west of the N7, one of South Africa’s national roads. This conservation area is a great biodiversity hotspot with the highest concentration of succulent plants of any of the world’s arid regions. More than a thousand of its estimated 3 500 flora species cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Coming soon – a directory of resources relating to desert flower tours in Namaqualand, South Africa