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Namaqualand flowers

Namaqualand is situated in the northwestern corner of South Africa, extending from the Orange River to the Olifant River. Even though this area is classified as a desert and, indeed, remains desolate for three-quarters of the year (summer, autumn and winter), winter rains bring about a unique and astonishing transformation. In the short spring seas of orange, yellow, purple and white flowers carpet the barren hills, plains, even the coastal dunes. This area hosts some 3,800 species of annuals, geophytes, dwarf shrubs and succulents, of which 28% are endemic, and is the only desert in the world to have such a diverse and extraordinary flower display. Precipitation, both in duration and timing, is the determining factor and the various species have developed a great variety of special features and strategies to survive the hot, dry summers. The spring transformation is almost unimaginable and one can really appreciated it only by seeing it.