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Namaqua National Park

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Introduction

As if by magic a tapestry of brilliant colours unfold enticingly along the winding roads of the Namaqua National Park. Butterflies, birds and long-tongued flies dart around among the flowers, seemingly overwhelmed by the abundance and diversity.

Every turn in the road paints an unforgettable picture: valleys filled with Namaqualand daisies and other spring flowers that pulse with sheer energy and joy. Next to some eye-catching succulents, a porcupine and a tall aloe pay witness to a baboon overturning a rock and pouncing on a scorpion. During early August and September, seemingly overnight, the dusty valleys of Namaqualand are transformed into a wonderland, carpeted with wildflowers. With its winter rainfall, Namaqualand is home to the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world and more than a 1 000 of its estimated 3 500 plant species are found nowhere else on earth.

Escape to the land of contrasts, where the rigorous climate has created a myriad of life forms superbly adapted to their specific habitat. Fields of flowers, star studded nights, quiver trees, enormous granite outcrops and the icy Atlantic are but a few wonders that await the visitor to what is truly the Creators’ playground.

5 Things To Seek

  • Carpets of flower (in season)
  • Quiver trees
  • Klipspringer
  • Unspoilt coastline
  • Quartz Patches

Did you know that...

  • Namaqua National Park is situated in one of only 2 arid biodiversity hotspots?
  • It is home to the world's smallest tortoise, the Namaqua Speckled Padloper?
  • It conserves the world's richest succulent flora?
  • It is world renowned for its spectacular spring flower displays?

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Accommodation

Skilpad Rest Camp

  • It provides 4 chalets, each with 2 single beds in the bedroom and a ¾-sleeper couch (suitable for 1 adult or 2 children) in the open plan living room / kitchen.
  • A dining area is available on the enclosed veranda and an indoor fireplace and an outside braai area is also provided.
  • The units come equipped with ceiling fans and 220V electricity. One unit (#3) has been adapted for use by guests with challenged mobility. The kitchen is fully equipped with crockery and cutlery, cooking utensils, glassware, a 4-plate stove, microwave, fridge / freezer combo, kettle and toaster.

Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp

Background

South African National Parks working together SA Experiences will again be setting up a temporary tented camp at Namaqua National Park to operate during the flower season. The camp will be situated at Delwerskamp, a coastal site about 1km from the Groenrivier office and is easily accessible by ordinary sedan vehicle. The temporary luxury camp will operate from 15 August to 15 September 2014 and bookings have already opened. In 2015, the camp will operate from 14 August to 14 September 2015.

Accommodation

10 x Dome Tents

  • Dome tent, with canvas patio cover providing shade for two director’s chairs.
  • Two single beds.
  • One pedestal.
  • Electric lantern.
  • Bath towels.
  • Personal amenities including soap and conditioning shampoo.
  • Private but adjacent shower and chemical flush toilet. Warm water provided at pre-arranged shower times.

Meals

  • The meal plan consists of:
    • Breakfast;
    • Optional lunch picnic basket;
    • Light afternoon snacks;
    • A scrumptious three course dinner.
  • Meals will be served in a communal dining tent.

Activities

  • No activities will be offered - literature on the flowers will be made available for guests to use.

Rates

Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp
Accommodation type
No. of units
Base rate per night
Base guests
Beds
Add. adult
Add. child
DT2 (dome tent)
Dome tent with 2 single beds
10
R 2775
1
2
R 925
R 925
Please Note:
  • No additional pax over and above the maximum number of beds per unit will be allowed.
  • No pensioner or seasonal discount will apply.

How to get there

The camp is accessible by normal sedan vehicle via Groen River gate. Please note that due to tough terrain normal sedan cannot be used further than the camp. In order to explore Namaqua National Park a 4x4 vehicle is required. To enhance the visitor experience of the park guests are advised to use 4x4 vehicles.

Special Requests

  • All guest special requests can be directed to SA Experiences, contact details +27 (0) 71 688 8201 or e-mail: lysta@experiences.co.za
  • All alcoholic beverages will be at guests' own cost.
  • Due to remoteness of the Flowers Beach Camp all transactions on site will be strictly cash only – no credit/debit cards will be accepted.

Bookings

Direct Public Bookings

SANParks will only handle direct public booking online at Central Reservations (i.e SANParks Head Office Call Centre and Front Office only).
Book online
Tel: +2712428 9111
Email reservations@sanparks.org

Please Note:
  • As this is a special camp set up for the flower season, stricter modification and cancellation rules apply to bookings made at Central Reservations.
  • Bookings can not be made at SANParks Satellite reservation offices.

Travel Trade bookings

Any registered tour operator wishing to refer clients to the Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp should book through the SANParks Travel Trade Offices.

Contact Details:
Pretoria Office: Tel: +27 (0) 12 426 5025, Fax: +27 (0) 12 426 5488, e-mail: traveltrade@sanparks.org

Coastal Camp Sites

  • The camps are all rustic and aim to maintain the wilderness character of this coastline.
  • Guests need to bring everything they may need for camping. The sites have no water or ablutions, and only some have enviro loos.
  • There is no cellphone reception.
  • The roads to most sites are poor with stretches of soft sand. Vehicles towing caravans or trailers should be careful, particularly if you are not used to towing in soft sand. Please ensure beforehand that your tyres are the recommended pressure for sand driving.
  • There is wood available at Groen river gate, but it is recommended that you bring your own wood.
 

Camp Site

Description

Delwerskamp

Delwerskamp (S 30° 49' 33.4"; E 17° 33' 56.6")

- 1km from Groen river gate.
- 7 sites, 3 Enviro loos, no ablutions.
- A 4x4 is not required to reach this camp from Groen river gate.
General: This camp sits on a rocky shore and has a beautiful small beach just to the north of the camp. The beaches northward are popular for hiking.

Delwerskamp Groen River (S 30° 51" 12.0; E 17° 34 " 31.7 ) - 1km south of Groen river mouth/ estuary.
- 12 sites; 6 Enviro loos; no ablutions.
- This camp terrain can be reached with a sedan vehicle from Garies (73km gravel road).
- Guests have to book in at the Groen River Office, about 3km from the campsite.
- General: Groen river Camp Site is just south of the Groen river estuary. The campsites are close to a rocky shore, with sandy beaches just south of the lighthouse, and north at Groen River Mouth.

Kwass (S 30° 41' 45.8"; E 17° 29' 14.6")

- 18.7km from Groen river gate.
- 4 sites, each with a windbreak wall and braai area; 2 Enviro loos, no ablutions.
- A 4x4 is required to reach this camp.
General: Kwass is known for its beautiful, quiet bay and the long sandy beach to the south. This is a very good area for vygies in the flower season.

Varswater (S 30° 41' 12.5"; E 17° 28' 45.4")

- 20km from Groen river gate.
- 4 sites, each with a windbreak wall and braai area; 2 Enviro loos, no ablutions.
- A 4x4 is required to reach this camp.
General: The camp is close to the rocky beach. There are small bays close by.

Bamboeskamp (S 30° 40' 25.9"; E 17° 28' 20.0")

- 21.5km from Groen river gate.
- 4 sites, each with a windbreak wall and braai area; 2 Enviro loos, no ablutions.
- A 4x4 is required to reach this camp.
General: This camp has large open camping areas. The coast is rocky with small bays.

Skuinsklip (S 30° 39' 51.1"; E 17° 28' 01.6")

- 22.8km from Groen river gate.
- 2 sites, each with a windbreak wall and braai area; Enviro loo, no ablutions.
- A 4x4 is required to reach this camp.
General: This camp is small with only two camping sites and two pretty beaches close by. The coast is mostly rocky.

Koringkorrel Baai (S 30° 39' 19.7"; E 17° 27' 49.7")

- 24km from Groen river gate.
- 5 sites, each with a windbreak wall and braai area; 3 Enviro loos, no ablutions.
- A 4x4 is required to reach this camp.
General: This camp sits a rocky shore with a long, beautiful beach just to the north. The bay is well known for sightings of Heavisides’ dolphins.

Skuinsbaai Noord (S 30° 37' 13.9"; E 17° 26' 07.5")

- 28.7km from Groen river gate.
- 2 sites, Enviro loo, no ablutions.
- This camp can be reached with a 2x4 high ground clearance vehicle from Sarrisam.
General: This camp has a single large site. The shore is rocky. There are numerous little bays in this area.

Boulder Baai (S 30° 31' 33.1"; E 17° 23' 44.1")

- 43km from Groen river gate.
- 6 sites, each with a windbreak wall and braai area; 2 Enviro loos; no ablutions.
- This camp can be reached with a 2x4 high ground clearance vehicle from Hondeklip Bay road gate.
General: This camp is the only camp protected to some extend from the south westerly winds. The camp has large open areas and is particularly suited to groups. There is a long white beach just south of the camp.

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Activities

Adventure and Outdoor

  • Caracal Ecotrail (4x4 only)
  • Circular drive with viewpoints during the spring flowering season.
  • Several short nature trails.
  • Picnic sites.
  • A seasonal visitor information centre.

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Activities

Caracal Eco Route

  • Description: This is an easy to moderate, with occasional sandy sections along the coast. Some sections are steep with dongas and a 4x4 vehicle is essential.
  • Distances: The distances range from 176km - 200km, depending on which tracks you select. The complete route can take 6-8 hours. Add another 2 hours from Groen river back to Skilpad if you are a chalet resident. The route can either be done in sections or completely.
  • Contact: Tel: (027) 672 1948, Elanza van Lente: Elanza.vanlente@sanparks.org
  • Best time of year: All year. In wet season/ flower season certain sections may be closed.
  • Route may be closed or changed after heavy rains. Please contact the park in advance during the wet season (June- September)

The route allows you to experience a wide range of Namaqua habitats, from mountains to coast. The route starts at the world famous Skilpad Wildflower Reserve– now part of the Namaqua National Park-, where the parks’ offices are situated. The road then descents down the Soebatsfontein pass, before turning north to the Wildeperdehoek grass plains. An interesting detour is possible to include the Wildeperdehoek pass. From here the road goes through the Namaqua flatlands. This area is renowned for its ‘Riethuis quartz’ and the dune areas, which has a dry fynbos type growing here. Crossing the main Hondeklip bay road you will enter the Namakwa Coastal section of the park, which consists of 50km spectacular coastline, before ending at Groen river mouth.

Please note that the Namaqua National park is still in a development phase. SANParks are in the process of various rehabilitation tasks, such as the removal of unwanted structures and fences. Some farmers still have a few years of farming left as part of sales agreements, and farm gates are to be closed at all times.

Route directions & description

There are numbered and un numbered ‘caracal’ signs to indicate the route. It is essential to obtain a booklet at the park for following the route. The booklet also contains grid reference points.

To get to Namaqua National park (Skilpad Office) take the N7 to Kamieskroon. Turn into Kamieskroon, then immediately left past the Hotel. Follow the gravel road (which passes underneath the N7) for 21km to the park.

Ecoroute Start: Skilpad Office, Namakwa National Park (S30˚09.489”; E017˚46.429”)
Please obtain your permit and ecoroute booklet at the office.

  • The parks’ offices and the Skilpad rest camp is situated here. The disturbed farmlands are famous for their annual wildflower blooms in the flower season. Out of season the area attracts game, particularly hartebeest and smaller antelope.
  • From Skilpad the route goes towards Soebatsfontein, past the viewpoint and down the cement road as you decent down the Kamiesberg mountains. Continuing along this road you will get to the Ecoroute turnoff. The section between the turnoff and Kookfontein is one of the best game viewing areas during certain times of the year. You will also have to cross the Swartlintjies river, which may be impassable in the wet season.
  • The track passes Kookfontein, which is an abandoned settlement based around a permanent fountain. There is a swimming hole (occasionally filled with water) and some shady palm trees.
  • The route then takes you into the Kamiesberg uplands and its spectacular vistas and plants. It will also take you over the Wildeperdehoek pass. The Wildeperdehoek pass was constructed in the late 1800’s, for transporting Copper Ore from Springbok to Hondeklip Bay. The road was constructed under the supervision of Patrick Fletcher, who used convicts as his labor force. The method used is similar to Bain’s methods. If you turn East the road will take you to Springbok, turning West will take you further on the Ecoroute and/ or to Koingnaas and Hondeklip Bay.
  • From the Wildeperdehoek pass the route will take you through one of the few grassy areas in Namaqua; pass the ‘Riethuis quartz,’ and rare Arid fynbos elements.
  • Following the Ecoroute will bring you to the Hondeklip bay road. Cross the Hondeklip Bay road to get to the coastal area. Please remember to close the gates! If you turn towards the coast at this crossing you will get to the small town of Hondeklip bay. It used to be a port for copper ore exports and later a crayfish factory, but both these activities has long since ceased. The bay is pretty, there is an old shipwreck (the Aristea) and the beaches to the south of the town are stunningly beautiful. There are various private accommodation options in Hondeklip Bay.
  • After you have crossed the Hondeklip Bay road you will enter the Groen- Spoeg coastal section of the park. In 2008 this section was made available for National park purposes by De Beers Consolidated Mines. The vegetation type is the Namaqualand Coastal Duneveld, and is one of the few unspoilt sections of this vegetation type left. The whole coast provides excellent viewing of vygies in the flower season. The scenic Spoeg river estuary is an excellent birding spot, particularly for waders. The caves are a historical and cultural landmark, where signs of sheep farming, 2000 years ago, was found.
  • The tracks south to Groen river splits continuously and join up again. Some tracks are currently being rehabilitated. Strictly no driving is allowed on closed tracks or on any beach.
  • The Groen-Spoeg coast is relatively untouched by human activity. Apart from one fountain there is no fresh water along this 50km stretch of coastline. The cold Benguella current causes regular mist, which in turn nourishes the unique plant communities of this section. The intertidal zone has an exceptional high biomass of various organisms, in particular mussels, limpets and rock lobster.
  • Rocky shores and white sandy beaches seem to continue forever, with countless beautiful little bays along this whole coast. Look out for Heavisides’ dolphins in the bays. This specie is endemic to the west coast.
  • You will also cross the Bitter river dunes (sand movement corridor). This is a good example of a dynamic, moving dune system. This particular system is in pristine condition, and the only unspoilt and properly functioning system left on the South African coast. The system is protected in its entirety and is a major conservation feature of the park.
  • Groen river mouth: This is the end of the Eco Route, or alternatively the start if you want to do the route ‘in reverse’. Turning to the coast you will get to the Groen River estuary and Groen river lighthouse (not open for visitors). Turning inland will take you to the N7 and the town of Garies, and back to the Skilpad chalets if you are a resident. The Groen river estuary is one of the saltiest on the South African coast. The estuary is often visited by pelicans and flamingoes.
  • Groen River estuary can be reached from either Garies along a 70km gravel road, or along a coastal track from Lutzville. (This route is outside the jurisdiction of SANParks).

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How to get there

The topography is characterised by granite outcrops with large round or flat exposed rock separated by sandy alluvial valleys. It is situated some 495km from Cape Town off the N7 route to Namibia, and 67km from the town of Springbok in the north. The nearest town is Kamieskroon, which is some 22 km from the reserve and park offices.

Gate Hours:

  • 08:00 to 17:00

At present the Park has only a limited road network available to sedan vehicles. No shop, restaurant or fuel is available in Namaqua National Park and guests must take along their own firewood.

GPS Coordinates

Entrance Gate Section Latitude Longitude

Groen River

Coastal section; 4WD vehicles only

S 30 ° 49' 44 "

E 17 ° 34' 34.16 "

Entrance Gate

Skilpad and Namaqua NP

S 30 ° 09' 58.30"

E 17 ° 47' 53.01"


Graphic Directions





Directions to Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp (Groen River)

GPS Co-ordinates to Groen River - S 30 49 43.9 - E 17 34 33.0

  • From Cape Town:
    • Take the N7 north to Garies (430km)
    • At Garies, turn left to Groen River. Follow the gravel road to Groen river (73km)
    • At Groen River you will enter the park at the sign ‘Namaqua National Park- Coastal Section’ to your right. To enter, open and close the gate again.
    • The office is approx 500m from the gate. From the office it is 1km along the coast to the Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp.
  • From Upington:
    • Take the N14 to Springbok (400km)
    • Take the N7 south to Garies (120km)
    • At Garies, turn right to Groen River. Follow the gravel road to Groen river (73km)
    • At Groen River you will enter the park at the sign ‘Namaqua National Park- Coastal Section’ to your right. To enter, open and close the gate again.
    • The office is approx 500m from the gate. From the office it is 1km along the coast to the Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp.
  • From Skilpad:
    • Skilpad is the parks’ main office and lies 20km from the town of Kamieskroon (which lies on the N7)
    • From Skilpad there is a 4x4 track going down to the coast. It is essential to obtain the Caracal Ecotrail Booklet at the office for directions. This route can take 4-6 hours down to the Beach Camp (strictly 4x4 only!)

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Vital Information

Climate

Namaqualand falls within the winter rainfall region of South Africa. The highest rainfall period is between June to August. Average winter temperatures vary between 7 degrees and 19 degrees Celsius, while summer temperatures vary between 20 degrees and 42 degrees Celsius.

Take Note

  • Pets are not allowed in a National Park.
  • Vehicle fuel and ATM facilities are available in the nearby town Springbok (87km away)- not in the park itself.
  • As outdoor lighting in camps is limited, a torch/headlamp is required when walking outside at night.
  • It is an offence to pick flowers or to remove plants or any other material from the park.
  • There are limited toilet facilities in the park.
  • Vehicle repairs, post office and police services are available at Kamieskroon. Medical services only in Springbok, which is 67 km away.
  • Enquiries about this developing park and the Skilpad flower reserve should be made to (027) 672 1948.

Wheelchair Access

With the park’s developmental status, no specific facilities for people with mobility impairment exist. However as the park develops, the needs of people with all forms of disability will be considered.

Contact Information

For enquiries e-mail Namaqua National Park or phone us on the following numbers:

  • Park Tel: +27 (0)27 672 1948
  • Fax: +27 (0)27 672 1015

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History

The park was proclaimed on 29 June 2001 for the purpose of conserving the rich diversity of succulent plants.

NNP is in the process of development, having grown to its current size of 141,000ha (including the coastal contract area between the Groen and Spoeg rivers) in nine years, thus expanding the park to include more succulent habitats and an important coastal section.

The history of establishment

Year

Event

1988

WWF-SA purchases a section of the farm Skilpad and start managing it as a wildflower reserve.

1998

SANParks take over the management of the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve and surrounding farms that had been purchased.

1999

Official opening of the Namaqua National Park.

2000

Working for Water project begins. August 2000 official start of GEF project.

2001

Construction and refurbishments of infrastructure at the Skilpad Section of the Park begins.

2002

Official proclamation of the land that now formed the Namaqua National Park.

2002

GEF social ecology projects get under way.

2002

The first RARE Environmental Education Campaign in Africa begins in the Namaqua National Park.

2003

Land consolidation reaches 72 000ha

2004

Work begins on proposed corridor to coast

2005

Land acquisitions ongoing to consolidate corridor negotiations with De Beers Namaqualand Mines ongoing

2008

Contractual inclusion of the Groen-Spoeg River section as part of Namaqua National Park


The park has one access-controlled route; the main entrance gate at the Skilpad section. The use of this gate is normally restricted to between 06h00 and 18h00. The Groen-Spoeg River section can be entered at the Groenriver where a marine SANParks official is based.

Cultural History

The cultural history of Namaqualand stretches back hundreds of thousands of years. Hand axes, presumably made by humans Homo erectus, have been found in the Namaqua NP. The San (a hunter-gatherer people) inhabited the region for thousands of years, moving seasonally after game, edible plants and water. Evidence of hunter-gatherers and herders is dotted all over Namaqualand along the Gariep River, along the coast, in caves and on the rocky outcrops. The descendants of the herder people are still living in Namaqualand today, although having lost a great deal of their original culture and traditions. During colonial times, in the 1700’s, the Europeans moved in and settled as stock farmers. Technology became part of the Namaqualand cultural landscape in the form of copper and diamond mining.

General Information

Weather

The Namaqua NP falls within the winter rainfall region of South Africa. Rainfall is associated with cold fronts in winter and is not only predictable but more reliable than other arid regions. The biological uniqueness of the Succulent Karoo Biome can be attributed to the low but reliable rainfall patterns. The average annual rainfall measured over 15 years in the Skilpad section at 700 metres above sea level is 340mm. The average at Soebatsfontein just beyond the parks south-western boundary is 140mm per annum. The Namaqualand Coastal Duneveld has a mean precipitation of below 100mm annually.

Snow on the Kamiesberg is common with the last snow recorded in 2009.

Mist is frequent during autumn and winter and the associated moistening of the soil is thought to influence annual plant germination rates. The wind in winter is usually from the east, which can turn to a cold north-westerly with the approach of a frontal system. In summer the wind is predominantly from the south or east.

Geography

The bedrock within the Namaqua NP largely comprises Quartzo-feldspathic Gneiss of the Kookfontein subgroup within the Namaqualand Metamorphic Complex. Bedrock outcrops occur on koppies or mountains as smooth rock faces or large rounded boulders typical of the Namaqualand Hardeveld. Of further geological significance is the Soubattersfontein Quartzite that occurs as low laying ridges or koppies in the south and south-western sections of the park. Wolfhoek se Berg is the highest point above sea level in the park at 948m above sea level.

Sand movement corridors are a characteristic of the coastal plain landscape and form an integral part of the ecological dynamics of the vegetation and animals that inhabit this landscape. They are regarded as important medium to large scale ecological processes that need to be explicitly considered in conservation plans. Elsewhere in South Africa sand movement corridors have been truncated or destroyed by inappropriate coastal development and stabilization by alien plants. The Namaqualand coastal plain presents the only opportunity in South Africa to conserve these ecosystems.

The park covers an altitudinal range from sea level (western boundary) to 948m on the eastern boundary. The topography is dominated by the low-lying Swartlintjies River valley in the west with its catchment in the mountains of the escarpment to the east. On the Skilpad section the Wolwepoort River drains to the northwest ultimately flowing into the Haasrivier, a tributary of the Buffelrivier. The Namaqualand coastal plain and the escarpment (Hardeveld) are both features of the area. The area between the Groen and Spoeg Rivers include a 60km stretch of coastal line and 30km inland of coastal plain sandy material of aeolian origin.

Vegetation

The Namaqualand region of South Africa falls within the Succulent Karoo biome, identified as one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots (one of three hotspots in South Africa), and is the focus of both international and national groups/organisations to conserve this globally unique living landscape i.e. the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Lesley Hill Succulant Karoo Trust, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Conservation International (CI) with initiatives such as the SKEP and Arid Eden Project.

Fifteen bioregions are represented within the boundaries of the Namaqua NP, namely: (i) Arid Estuarine Salt Marches, (ii) Kamiesberg Mountain Scrubland, (iii) Namaqualand Arid Grassland, (iv) Namaqualand Blomveld, (v) Namaqualand Coastal Duneveld, (vi) Namaqualand Heuweltjiesveld, (vii) Namaqualand Inland Duneveld, (viii) Namaqualand Klipkoppe Scrubland, (xi) Namaqualand Rivers, (x) Namaqualand Salt Pans, (xi) Namaqualand San Fynbos, (xii) Namaqualand Seashore Vegetation, (xiii) Namaqualand Strandveld, (xiv) Riethuis Wallekraal Quartz Vygieveld, and (xv) Oograbies Plains Sandy Grassland.

The Succulent Karoo has approximately 6,356 plant species, 40% (2,542) are endemic. Namaqualand alone has about 3000 species (1,500 are endemic) made up of 648 genera and 107 families. Seventeen percent are listed as Red Data species (International Union for Conservation of Nature 1994). When compared to regions with similar semi-arid environments the richness of this biome is exceptional. Namaqualand is further distinguished from other desert regions by the presence of the following families: Mesembryanthemaceae (vygies); Iridaceae (irids); Hyacinthaceae (lachenalias) and Crassulaceae (crassulas). There is a strong pattern of dominance by succulents and bulbs.

It is estimated that the Succulent Karoo bioregion has about 16% of the worlds approximately 10,000 succulent plant species. The high level of diversity is a result of a number of factors that include:

  • occasional droughts that increase generation turnover and population fragmentation
  • soil depth, moisture and texture
  • chemical composition of the bedrock
  • animal related disturbance regimes (e.g. heuweltjies)

The Succulent Karoo has its own characteristic fauna with the dominant animals being invertebrates, specifically monkey beetles, scorpions, bee flies, bees and masarid and vespid wasps have concentrations of diversity and endemism in the Succulent Karoo Biome. There is a strong faunal relationship between the Succulent Karoo and the Fynbos and Desert biomes and it is considered a transitional region.

The floral richness of the Succulent Karoo is mirrored in its faunal diversity especially the invertebrates and reptiles although this is not the case with birds and mammals. This high species- richness has been attributed to events such as the folding of the Cape mountains and the subsequent isolation of specific habitats and the high levels of plant diversity. The high barriers between the Succulent and Nama Karoo biomes have limited faunal movements between the two even by the more mobile organisms.

Birds & Mammals

The movement of birds within the biome appears to be related to the availability of resources, both food and nesting material. Fluctuations in bird and mammal populations (especially rodents) are related to major rainfall events or changes in rainfall seasonality. Historically, mammal numbers would have fluctuated with resource availability and the activity of predators. The animals that historically occurred in the area and which are now locally extinct include elephant, black rhino, lion, cheetah, wild dog, eland, red hartebeest, gemsbok, springbok and Hartmann’s mountain zebra. Many of these species were probably not resident but would have moved through the area related to the availability of food and water resources. The largest predator in the park is the leopard (Panthera pardus).

Existing populations of small mammals still occur within the present boundaries of the Namaqua NP. They include: common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), steenbok (Raphicerus camprestis), bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis), black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas), caracal (Caracal caracal), baboon (Papio ursinus), klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus), Cape fox (Vulpes chama), aardvark (Crycteropus cafer) and African wildcat (Felis silvestris). Seventy-three mammal species occur within the Succulent Karoo with three endemic. Of these De Winton’s golden mole (Cryptochloris wintoni) and Van Zyl’s golden mole (Cryptochloris zyli) are insectivorous and the Namaqua dune molerat (Bathyergus janetta) is herbivorous.There are, however, five species known only from the dunes of the central Namaqualand coast. Some of these species are likely to occur in the corridor and coastal section of the park.

Springbok, Red Hartebeest and Gemsbok has been reintroduced by SANParks.


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Park Maps

Directions

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skilpad Flower Route

 

 

 


Bamboeskamp Camsite Layout

 

 


Boulderbaai Campsite Layout

 

 


Delwerskamp Campsite Layout

 

 


Groen River Campsite Layout

 

 


Koringkorrel Campsite Layout

 

 


Kwass Campsite Layout

 

 


Skilpad Rest Camp Layout

 

 


Skuinsbaai Noord Campsite Layout

 

 


Skuinsklip Campsite Layout


Varswater Campsite Layout










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Tariffs

Conservation Fees for 1 November 2013 to 31 October 2014

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R30 per adult, per day
R15 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport): R60 per adult, per day
R30 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R60 per adult, per day
R30 per child, per day

 


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Birding in Namaqua National Park

Birding in the park can still be explored more. Species to search for include Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Cape Long-billed Lark, Karoo Lark, Black-headed Canary and Cape Bulbul. Black Harriers quarter the ground in search of rodents.

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Vegetation

The park has been described as typical Namaqualand broken veld with a great variety of smaller succulents, such as Crassula spp., Adromischus spp., Pelargonium spp., stapeliands and Cotyledon spp., as well as annuals and bulbous plants.

It is also described as part of the succulent Karoo biome, dividing the area into the strandveld succulent Karoo, Upland Succulent Karoo, Lowland Succulent Karoo and North-western Mountain Renosterveld (Fynbos Biome). Also see Quartz Patches.

The Namaqualand broken veld merges east into the mountain renosterveld of the hills and mountains of the Kamiesberg Range, part of the fynbos biome. Four of the highest peaks exceed 1 500 m while Rooiberg (south), the highest land surface in Namaqualand, reaches 1 700 m. The Kamiesberg range consists of at least 22 endemic taxa.

Endemics (especially dwarf succulent shrubs) are clustered in broken, rocky habitats rather than sandy or loamy flats. Remaining endemics are likely to be geophyte members of the Iridaceae, Amarylliadaceae and Geraniaceae, also confined to winter rainfall areas. The hills and mountains of the Kamiesberg Range contains 201 endemic centre with 79 endemic species confined to this small area.


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