Flower season comes early

2009-07-23 10:45

Cape Town - The rain that has fallen in Namaqualand has caught flower tourists by surprise. “Nobody expected the flowers this early this year,” said Bernard van Lente, the park head at the Namaqua National Park near Kamieskroon on Wednesday.

There are currently few visitors tot the Skilpad Reserve, part of the Namaqua Park as most people expected pretty flowers to be there only from August.

But from Garies to Kamieskroon, there are already flowers to be seen. But at the Goegap Reserve outside Springbok, there were fewer flowers.

Van Lente said it was still very wet in the national park. There were streams of water running everywhere.

"Along the coast, it is also noticeably greener this year and we expect that the flowers here will be excellent," he predicted.

Van Lente warned that the heavy rains had damaged the dirt road from Kamieskroon to the national park. It was accessible, but he warned motorists to be careful.

In most of the other flower regions, wild flowers are expected only from about August 7 and later on. Fiona Kotze from Hopefield said flower tourists could wait another two weeks for a visit to the West Coast.

There were also reports of very good rains in the region of Wupperthal. Everything pointed to the Biedouw Valley producing a flower spectacle again this year.

A floral region that is quite different to the rest, is Nieuwoudtville, which claims to be the bulbous plant capital of the country.

Hendrik van Zijl, a local plant expert, said visitors could head to Nieuwoudtville from August 7. He advised people to go walking in the veld and to appreciate the region's great biodiversity.