A land of immense skies and stark countryside, rugged Namakwa and the Hantam Karoo are truly South Africa’s Wild West. The roads seemingly stretch 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-wheel driving through the Mars-like landscape of remote |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, the pleasures here are simple yet flabbergasting.
Namakwa and the Hantam Karoo are proficient magicians, who perform their favourite trick each spring, shaking off winter’s bite with an explosion of colour and covering the sunbaked desert in a spectacular, multihued wildflower blanket. The name Hantam actually means 'mountain where the red edible flowers bloom' in Khoi-Khoi. The Namakwa region takes its name from the Nama (also known as Namkwa or Namaqua, which means ‘Nama people’), a Khoekhoen tribe.