Namaqualand is world renowned for its annual colourburst of wild flowers which comes to life in Spring. In addition, a rich diversity of succulent plants with an estimated 3 500 species, more than 1000 endemic to the area may be viewed throughout the year.
Namaqualand falls within the winter rainfall region of South Africa. The Skilpad region receives an average annual rainfall of 340mm which falls mainly between June to August. Temperatures are extreme and average 7°c in the winter months to and average of 32°c in summer. It is not an uncommon sight to see snow on the Kammiesberg in winter and to experience a blistering 42°c in summer. A true region of contrast - in more ways than one!
The Skilpad sector of the region forms part of the greater Namaqua National Park. This is situated in the Hardeveld otherwise known as the Namaqualand Klipkoppe. The Namaqualand Klipkoppe are made up of a fragmented chain of mountains measuring approximately 50kms in width. The chain separates the low-lying Sandveld to the west and the Bushmanland plateau to the east.
Significant to the topography of the area are the characteristic large flat or round granite outcrops surrounded by sandy alluvial valleys.
The Skilpad Wild Flower Reserve is open to all during the spring FLOWER SEASON from 08H00 to 17H00 - an entrance fee is payable. Please check with reception to get the latest entrance fees.
The Goegap Nature Reserve with its granite peaks and sandy plains are dominated by Carolusberg, the highest point in the area. Goegap's wild flower garden contains an enormous collection of succulents endemic to the area. A visit to the Goegap Reserve will make a lasting impression with the spectacular annual display of wild flowers in spring.
Visitors to the reserve may take advantage of 3 hour guided tours in an open truck, which are conducted seasonally. In this way tourists have a bird's eye view of this floral marvel. Besides the unbelievable number of floral species, Goegap boasts a recorded 45 mammalian species including springbok, gemsbok, the endangered Hartman's Zebra and the aardwolf amongst several others.
Bird lovers will enjoy the more than 92 recorded species manifested and to be viewed in the park including ostriches, black eagles, spotted dikkops and ground woodpeckers.
Bookings for guided tours are essential and may be made with the Goegap Reserve Management. The reserve is open from 08H00 to 16H30 all year round. An entrance fee is payable at the gate.