Nieuwoudville 2020 , spring flower bonanza
(Matjiesfontein and Gannaboss)
Exploring the Hantam National Botanical garden just outside of the quaint town of Nieuwouldtville, we were fortunate to meet the curator of this national treasure. We enquired about this years spring flower season, and to our surprise, Eugene Marinus mentioned that it was the best season in nineteen years.
Captivated by the floral display we surveyed the area, a warm spring morning, wind-still and picture-perfect, soft fleecy clouds in the vivid blue sky helped to complete the moment. Having arrived early, we had a full day of activities listed. Absorbed and amazed by the variety of spring flowers and the abundance, we could appreciate the term carpets of spring flowers.
With the sun now way past midday, we proceeded to Matjiesfontein; this would be our base camp for our weekend getaway. Maatjiesfontein is approximately ten kilometres outside of town, no electricity, nor the standard amenities that one would expect in a small town. We had travelled more than three hundred kilometres to experience farm style living right amongst the spring flowers.
Upon arrival, we introduced ourselves, and one of the caretakers show us our self-catering cottage, aptly named Kosie se kaya (Koos’s home). This quaint cottage was unmistakenly one of the original staff members accommodation, and our host confirmed it was her mother’s house. Our expectation we not exceeded, we started to settle into our home away from home. As luck would have it, power was a problem and a more significant one at that when we could not get this working. After some negotiations, our host upgraded us the central accommodation.
To say we were not surprised at our new five-star accommodation would be an understatement, thatched roof, power points, space to sleep ten guest and a fireplace for a king. We later learned that this was the original school for the new town of Nieuwouldville back in the days when they first established the farming village a few centuries earlier.
By nine pm the droning of the generator had stopped, warm and quiet, most of the visitors were well asleep, this was my time, we enjoyed setting up for some night celestial photography. Being this far out of town we had no light pollution, we have never experienced such a bright display of our milky way. It stretched right across out cottage and faded in the distance towards Nieuwouldville. Stars as far as the eye could see. Later that evening, we had the resident Spotted Eagle Owl calling into the night from our rooftop, we listened for a while savouring this unexpected gift before falling asleep.
Slightly overcast and cooler we headed off to Gannaboss, the second-largest Quiver tree forest in the world. Despite the colder conditions, Gannaboss was baking hot. Pockets of spring flowers amongst the quivers this was a sight to behold. Wasting no time, we searched for unique and rare flowers that had us in awe. What seemed like an hour or two, but the entire morning had passed. Content that we had witnessed pure magic amongst these ancient quiver trees that have to endure some of the harshest conditions in this dry, barren landscape.
Lunch in town, and then a quick visit to Pupkuilsfontein, here once again we were more than impressed by the complete variety of flowers. Not fields of flowers as we had expected but impressive by the new collection of species that we enjoyed.
We had made a bold decision to cancel our Langebaan spring flower adventure and substitute this with an excursion to Nieuwouldville instead. The reports had been outstanding. In the end, this proved to be the best decision. Memorable is a great way to explain this floral display and happy that we managed to get some excellent images, awesome videos, and the family had fun tripping amongst the daisies.
It will we hard to match this display, but next year we look forward to our next adventure come spring. We hope you will enjoy some of our images and that they will showcase some of the beauty that this bulb capital of the world has to offer.
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