Striated Skies No. 37 – Unexpected falls

Striated Skies

Nieuwoudtville (Locals pronounce it “knee – hout – ville”) is the bulb capital of the world. The flower displays that take place in August-September are what drew us to visit this fascinating place. Nieuwoudtville was established in 1897 and lies on the bokkeveld escarpment. The town is extremely small and there is not much going for it besides the flowers. The petrol station for example is only open for certain hours in the day.

The visit to the town and the falls took place on a Sunday. We drove up to see the flowers for a weekend staying the Saturday night in the neighbouring town of VanRhyndorp. Being mid September many of the flowers had passed and VanRhynsdorp does not really have anything beyond the flowers either.

The Nieuwoudtville waterfall is amazing as it is completely unexpected as you drive to the parking area. There is an entrence fee so you will require some cash in order to pay. The entrance was R18 per adult when we visited. The two pictures below from Nieuwoudtville.com show an aerial view of the waterfall in a dry session. The picture below that shows the waterfall in summer after heavy rains (Picture from Kontrei Travel).

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.54.03 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.54.27 AM

Our trip to the Namaqualand flowers was not the most successful trip that we have ever been on. If you are considering taking a trip to see the spring flowers and I would recommend this if you are a lover of natural beauty, then I would consider the following advice:

  1. Do your own research. The internet is a wonderful place but many places in this part of the country are not on it :-). Phone and ask for advise to get the best ideas.
  2. Phone up before you leave – Contact the many tourism offices in the flower areas. Here are some weblinks to help:
    1. Namaqua West Coast Tourism
    2. Northern Cape Tourism
    3. Namakwa District Municipality
    4. Cape West Coast
    5. Flower Route Map (has all the phone numbers!!!)
  3. Go in Late August early September in order to see the most flowers. Use the guided trips as an example.
  4. Go up for more than a weekend. You will not have enough time to see the vast expanse of the area in a weekend. Take more time. If you only have a weekend then make sure it is the right weekend and plan well!!!
  5. Consider using a flower tour company, these fill up early so book in advance:
    1. Namaqua tours (Facebook)
    2. Kontrei Travel
    3. Happy Holidays
    4. Redwood Tours (@redwoodtours)
    5. FS Tours
  6. Visit one of the flower festivals
    1. Clanwilliam Flower Festival
    2. Darling Flower Festival
  7. If you are South African and you live in the Western Cape there is no reason not to go. If you are further away then I would advise planning well.

 

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