A land of immense skies and stark countryside, Namakwa, in the Northern Cape’s rugged northwest, is truly South Africa’s Wild West. The roads seemingly stretch on forever through vast, empty spaces, and scorching days lead to dramatically quiet and still nights, when the stars appear bigger and brighter than anywhere else. From exploring the misty shipwrecked diamond coastline on the country’s far western edge to four-wheeling through the otherworldly mountain desert in remote |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, experiences pile up fast here.
Namakwa is also a proficient magician, who performs her favourite trick each spring. She shakes off winter’s bite with an explosion of colour, covering the sunbaked desert in a spectacular multihued wildflower blanket.
The region takes its name from the Nama (also known as Namkwa or Namaqua, which means ‘Nama people’), a Khoekhoen tribe from northwest Namakwa (previously known as Namaqualand), who are famous for their copper metalworking skills.