Best time to travel to South Africa

Namaqualand Daisies

The only site in the whole world where a vast dry area annually transforms into a lush orange flowerbed, but only for a few short weeks

Namaqualand Daisies in South Africa - Best Time
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© HAWK Photography

Normally, it's a rare occasion to find a desert abloom. Arid areas transform into a flowering garden only once in quite a long while. But not in Namaqualand,—it's the world's only exception that flourishes every spring. With just 150 mm of rain per year this large arid area turns into a lush flowering field. At a distant look one might presume these are the same orange daisies all over, but when you take a close up look, you'll discover an endless variety of flowers. Not only daisies themselves occur in various shapes and shades of orange, but also other rare flowers pop out among evidently prevailing daisies.

Namaqualand Daisies in South Africa - Best Season

Owing to such a unique natural phenomenon, the area has been protected as the Namaqua National Park. Locals actually make a living from tourism based on the flowering desert. Hence, it's often mistakenly assumed that the keepers plant the flowers themselves in order to draw tourists and maintain business. But in fact, it's all attributed to bees and other insects that perfectly perform their pollinating duties. In fact, every year the area seems to bear different flowers, and it's always quite an intrigue, and surprise for the keepers themselves.

The blooming season is rather short, it usually begins in the second week of August and is over by the second week of September, yet it varies from year to year. The flowers open up in the morning and close in the afternoon, at about 4 pm. So you have to get up early not to miss the orange show.

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