With spring in the air, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to introduce you to one of the many passes in the Namaqualand area - one of the premier flower spotting routes. Here in this arid semi-desert of large granite mountains and wide plains, international and local tourists alike, flock in their thousands to witness the annual miracle of the desert transforming into a multi coloured carpet of wild flowers. You need to book your accommodation a year in advance in most cases.
The people of this region make this part of South Africa uniquely different. They are direct, warm and friendly but don't tolerate fools lightly. If they think you're wrong about something, they will tell you so immediately, but without any malice. Faces are wrinkled from the merciless sun as the achingly blue skies seldom offer any rain. Water is a crucial part of their existence and it dominates every conversation, regardless of race, creed or colour.
They have an odd way of speaking too. For example when a place is called (for example) Garies Heights, normally in Afrikaans it would be translated into Garieshoogte, but the locals would say Garies se Hoog. Our featured pass this week is short and steep and traverses a farm with the very odd name of Bloedsmaak. More lower down....
Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.
Passes are classified according to provinces and feature a text description, Fact File including GPS data, a fully interactive dual-view map and a narrated YouTube video.
We are as passionate about maps as we are about mountain passes. A good map is a thing of beauty that can transport you into the mists of time or get your sense of adventure churning. It is a place to make discoveries about deserts and seas, mountains and lakes; of roads leading into places you have not been before; a place to pore over holiday destinations or weekend camping trips. A map is your window to the world.