South African Accommodation, Namaqualand

More than meets the eye

Tired from our long drive from Namibia, Alex and I decided to book into the first available South African accommodation we could find. As it turned out, the little town of Springbok was the gateway between Namibia and South Africa.

Annie’s Cottage

As we drove into town, we stopped to ask a local for the directions to a guest house. They suggested Annie’s Cottage, which turned out to be exactly what we needed. The atmosphere was very friendly but the one thing that I liked most of all was our psychedelic purple room! It was a combination of old dark wooden furniture stylised with beautiful dark purple and pink colours, without being too much. In all honesty, I expected the room to look like other small town cottages: bland colours with bedding that not only looks like it was styled in the 1960’s, but might actually still have the original bedding bought during that period of time. So when they showed us to our room, Alex and I were extremely impressed.

After a goodnight’s rest, we were absolutely ravenous. We ordered bacon, eggs, toast and of course the finest cup of coffee. Alex had eggs Benedict, which I just had to sample since he gave a face of pure satisfaction at first bite. While enjoying our hearty meal, we decided to postpone continuing on our trip, given that neither of us has been in Springbok before. Our waitress suggested a few places to visit, and since our timing was perfect, we had the pleasure of being right smack in the middle of Namaqualand’s famous flower district during the spring season (between July and September).

Namaqua National Park

At first we went to the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve. Skilpad, which is Afrikaans for Tortoise, was established by the WWF South Africa in 1988 to generate awareness for the spectacular floral heritage of the Namaqualand. I’ve been told that even in years when the flower display in the surrounding areas are not grand, the reserve’s still remain magnificent. It was absolutely breath-taking and also had multi-coloured daisies as far as the eye could see. Alex had a field-day with the amount of photos he took for his collection of natural photography.

We continued to the Goegap Nature Reserve. Both Goegap and Skilpad are situated within the greater Namaqua National Reserve. Alex suggested we go on the 3hour guided tour through the reserve where we not only had the chance to see more of the wondrous flower fields, but also wildlife of this specific area, including the endangered Hartman’s Zebra and the Aardwolf. If you’re a bird lover, which I am in honesty not, you’ll love the Goegap Nature Reserve! There’s more than 92 different bird species recorded in this area alone.

Getting to know Springbok

After another satisfying night at Annie’s Cottage, we spent the following day walking around in town. There were a lot of markets selling grass baskets and wooden handmade artefacts made by the Herero and Ovambo people. What I love about small towns is that their local produced products are sure to be some of the finest, like the home-made fig jam I bought. The friendly old lady offered us to first taste everything so we could decide what we wanted to buy. Alex bought a rather big bag of Afrikaner Boer rusks.

After a rather relaxed day in Springbok we decided that we needed to head back home. It was rather disappointing that we had to leave so soon, but I was glad that we had the opportunity to spend an extra day in the friendly town of Namaqua district.

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