great namaqualand

Namaqualand

[nuh-mah-kwuh-land]
Namaqualand (Afrikaans: Namakwaland) is an arid region of South Africa, extending along the west coast over 600 miles and covering a total area of 170,000 square miles/440,000 km². It is divided by the lower course of the Orange River into two portions - Little Namaqualand to the south and Great Namaqualand to the north. Little Namaqualand forms part of Northern Cape Province, South Africa, and Great Namaqualand is in the Karas Region of Namibia. Great Namaqualand is sparsely populated by the Namaqua, a Khoikhoi people. A typical municipality is Kamiesberg Local Municipality.

Some of the more prominent towns in this area are Springbok, being the capital of this region, as well as Kleinzee, and Koiingnaas, both private mining towns owned by De Beers Diamond Mines. This area being rich in aluvial diamond deposited along the coast by the Orange river. Oranjamund is another Mining town along this coast, situated in Namibia but very much on the border, as the name sujests, it is at the mouth of the Orange River which forms the border between South Africa and Namibia.

There is a vibrant fishing industry along this stretch of the South African west coast. Especially in Hondeklipbaai, or Dogstonebay. Called such because of a large bolder outside the town which, when viewed correctly looks vaguely like a dog sitting down.

Namaqualand is quite popular with both local and international tourists during early springtime, when for a short period a normally arid area becomes covered with a kaleidoscope of colour during the flowering season. This is known throughout South Africa as the Namaqualand daisy season, where orange and white daisies spring up from a previously barren site. A part of Little Namaqualand, known as the Richtersveld, is a World Heritage Site.

It has one of the highest Afrikaans percent speakers, with over 90% speaking the African Language, and also one of the most unique sounding accents in the country.

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