The seeds of the spectacular flowers of Namaqualand – daisies, aloes, gladioli and lilies – lie dormant under the soil through the droughts of summer, waiting for the rain that sometimes takes years to materialize. About four thousand floral species are found in the area, a quarter of which are found nowhere else on Earth. Although it’s difficult to predict where the best displays will occur, for more or less guaranteed flowers you can head for the Skilpad section of Namaqua National Park or to the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, with its ocean-mist-fed succulents.
One indication of where the displays will occur is winter rainfall; flowers follow the rain, so early in the season they will be out near the coast, moving steadily inland. Temperature is also a factor, meaning that on cool or cloudy days displays are muted.