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The Namaqualand National Park

and Skilpad Wildflower Reserve

Namaqualand National Park

A visit to the Skilpad Nature Reserve during the spring in Namaqualand is something you will never forget. Carpets of wild flowers and intense colour for as far as the eye can see – this is what the Namaqualand in South Africa offers visitors.

The Skilpad Reserve now forms part of the Namaqualand National Park, but was already established in 1988 when the WWF saw the need to increase awareness of the Namaqualand flowers and to conserve the many species of bulbs and flowers that contribute to this spectacular sight. The Namaqualand National Park and Skilpad Nature Reserve is near Kamieskroon. If, for some reason, the spring flowers in other parts of the Namaqualand are not as spectacular as usual, a visit to “Skilpad” will be very rewarding.

In the Namaqualand National Park guests are accommodated in 4 self-catering fully equipped chalets in the Skilpad camp. The chalets are built according to local methods and blend into the rocky surroundings. Each sleeps four people. The chalets all have indoor and outdoor braai facilities, but there is a farmstyle restaurant near the entrance to the park (for the brave who enjoy local food).

You will notice many signs of tortoises in “Skilpad” – in fact, the farm on which the reserve is now situated was originally called “Skilpad se Graafwater” – the place where the tortoises dig for water. The Namaqualand National Park houses the Namaqua Speckled Padloper: the world’s smallest tortoise. In addition, the National Park is placed inside one of only two arid biodiversity hotspots.

Each chalet has a superb view of the surrounding Namaqualand veld and flowers and the rocky outcrops – medicine for the city-dweller! The evenings at Skilpad are spectacular – the non-existent pollution level makes it possible to see stars you will probably not even know existed.