Flowers in Namaqualand

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stamp3The Namaqualand flowers

Up South Africa’s west coast, Namaqualand, is an arid region with a vegetation type known as succulent Karoo. Every spring this dryland is blanketed with vygies, brilliantly coloured daisies and other flowering desert plants. It’s a botanical treasure with 7000 species of plants, many of which occur nowhere else – and an event that is not to be missed.

This natural flower explosion is driven by rainfall patterns, and their location can’t always be predicted nor guaranteed. The flowers, which depend upon good rains, may arrive early (July) or late (September) and typically move in a colourful wave from north to south and from west to east. As one area fades away, another reaches its full glory. So it’s a moving target.

Photographers need to know

Because the flowers depend on the rains, it can be difficult to plan a trip in advance. It’s best to have a window of time when you can go and and to be flexible about exactly where you will travel.

Paradoxically for many photographers used to working during the golden hours, the best time for flowers is during the heat of the day from 11 am to 3 pm when the blooms are fully open. The blooms close during the night and if it gets windy or cold.

Check out our blog post for tips on how to get the best flower photos and what to expect.