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Namaqualand and West Coast - an odyssey

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All images and text in this gallery are Copyright JD Adendorff 2010. Please contact the author for permission if you want to use any of these images. A request before posting direct links will also be appreciated.

Namaqualand is an arid region along the South African western coastline, running from more or less the Richtersveld in the north to the Bokkeveld mountains in the south. It is the geophyte capital of the world, with the largest concentration of lilies, irids and other bulbous plants found anywhere. In spring, the region is usually a tapestry of flowers. However, we chose one of the leanest years in recent memory, and the flowers were on the whole disappointing. In spite of the lack of flowers, the region's wonderful people, rock formations, history and peaceful atmosphere are some of the reasons why a visit here is always worth the effort.

The West Coast is skirted by the cold Benguela current, receiving mostly winter rainfall, and is a continuation of the floral diversity of Namaqualand and the fynbos regions. The West Coast National Park is simply extraordinarily beautiful, and the Postberg section, open only during August and September each year, is without comparison. It is within a short day trip from Cape Town, and a must do whenever visiting the Western Cape during spring.
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Farm entrance, near Delareyville Donkey cart near Delareyville New best friend Consolation kiss Camel thorn tree Shepherd's tree, Upington
Going nowhere soon In the Kamieskroon area, all the rocks are colourful Lobostemon sp. Salvia sp., Lamiaceae CMR beetle Unidentified, Fabaceae
Pelargonium sp., Geraniaceae Pelargonium incrassatum, Geraniaceae Pelargonium sp., Geraniaceae Ferraria sp., Iridaceae Unidentified, Asteraceae 7C0_6304.jpg
7C0_6308.jpg Skilpad camp, Namaqua National Park Skilpad Reserve, mist clouds rolling in Pelargonium sp., Geraniaceae Trachyandra sp., Asphodelaceae Skilpad Reserve
Chlorophytum sp. 7C0_6326.jpg Skilpad sunset Lapeirousia silenoides, Iridaceae Skilpad sunset Skilpad sunset
Namaqua National Park Skilpad after a dousing Corycium crispum, Orchidaceae Red hartebeest Skilpad Reserve Ant
Little red riding hood Corycium crispum, Orchidaceae Lachenalia sp., Skilpad Reserve Namaqualand daisies will grow wherever they can get a foothold. Girdled lizards decorate the rocks at Skilpad Pelargonium incrassatum, Geraniaceae
Photographer at work Grielum sp., Rosaceae Skilpad accomodation Skilpad accomodation Silkbag caterpillars Toad grasshopper
Angulate tortoise The eponymous angulate tortoise (Skilpad means tortoise) Enjoying the sunshine Too many beetles to count Ixia rapunculoides, Iridaceae Lapeirousia silenoides, Iridaceae
Lachenalia carnosa, Hyacinthaceae Lachenalia carnosa, Hyacinthaceae Bunting at moonrise Salvia at sunset Termite mounds provide a great calling spot for the many larks Chlorophytum sp.
Nemesia sp., Scrophulariaceae Lapeirousia silenoides, Iridaceae Skilpad Nature Reserve Windpumps provide water through the dry season Prosoeca peringueyi feeding on Pelargonium incrassatum Prosoeca peringueyi
Babiana sp., Iridaceae Oxalis sp., Oxalidaceae Skilpad has old fields that are ploughed judiciously to allow annuals to flourish. Albuca canadensis, Hyacinthaceae Ixia rapunculoides and mating Prosoeca peringueyi Mesemb
Heliophila sp. Babiana sp., Iridaceae Gazania sp., Asteraceae Shells of the angulate tortoise persist in the arid climate
Skilpad is known for fields of annuals, mostly daisies and buttercups. Looking for monkey beetles Grielum sp., Rosaceae Moraea minima, Iridaceae Gorteriasp., Rosaceae Skilpad walking trail starts here.
Ursinia sp., Asteraceae Heliophila sp. Heliophila sp. Heliophila sp. Moraea minima, Iridaceae Heliophila sp.
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