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Bitterfontein, Garies, Kamieskroon , Leliefontein, Paulshoek

Other Routes:
Crayfish Route
Diamond Coast Route
Richtersveld Route
Hardeveld Route
Nama Route

Paulshoek - Sonop Guesthouse
The guesthouse is presently undergoing renovation, but should be open again by December to offer a mix of accommodation options, incl. self catering units and facilities for larger groups.
Contact Mr Vonkie Claassen or Elizabeth Claassen:

Paulshoek - Cultural Camp
Set up your tent at the community-run Kliphoek camping site just outside the village or sleep in a traditional Nama shelter called a matjieshuis. The campsite has toilet and barbeque facilities.
Contact Mr Vonkie Claassen or Elizabeth Claassen:

The region on top of the Kamiesberg is truly a forgotten world. Here lie small towns where Kokerbome are still used to build natural “fridges”; running water was first installed in Paulshoek only a few years ago.

Much of the area can be seen on a round trip from Bitterfontein to Kamieskroon via Kliprand and Leliefontein, or via Paulshoek. The route passes through the upper desert-like reaches of the pebbled Knersvlakte, edging the thickly sanded Bushmanland into a region known as Namaqua Broken Veld. The scenery is truly unusual, with patches of lush succulent vegetation spaced with granite “koppies” - heaps of bare, rounded granite boulders piled as if a giant had been clearing farmland.

Leliefontein, famous for swaths of white lilies, is host to one of the best flower displays in the Namaqualand from August to October. In winter, the higher areas have been known to be dusted in snow. Bring a camera - this is the region where the famous landscape photographer, Freeman Patterson, runs his annual photo workshops.

Botanical diversity, medicinal plants
The Kamiesberg region is right in the heart of springtime flower paradise. More significantly, it forms the point of convergence of a number of important biomes. Paulshoek and surrounds have been the focus of nearly a decade's study by botanists of the University of Cape Town, in conjunction with a number of international botanical societies. The broader region is now recognized as global botanical hotspot.

The namaqua people, of course, have known of the important plants for much longer. Some of the local experts are known widely for their facility with natural medicine - a cure for every malady from the rocky outcrops around their town.

Evenings around the campfire - stories of the Paljas
They say that, to walk without harm in the Kamiesberg at night, you'd better have "a small pebble in your mouth and a twig in your shoe".
The area is central to the namaqua Nama culture, rich with myth and legend.

In many of the towns here, the old people can still be happily coaxed to tell stories of "the Paljas" (Nama magic) around the campfire. Specially arranged cultural evenings offer a rare glimpse of their rapidly vanishing way of life.

Mountain passes
The Studers Pass, from Garies up towards Paulshoek and Leliefontein, winds leisurely through magnificent mountain scenery. In winter a waterfall tumbles over a large opening by the road side, and from various vantage points on the way one can catch glimpses of the sea some 70km away. At Leliefontein you can see the Koingnaas lights on the coast on moonless nights.

Rooifontein, at 1700m the highest peak in Namaqualand, can be reached from Kamieskroon via Baileys Pass. From here the road winds back down again through Kamasies and Gamoep to the flat, grassy plains of the Bushmanland and on to Springbok.

While there are designated 4x4 and mountain biking routes in the area, the gravel passes mentioned above can safely be driven with a normal passenger car, as long as one plans to travel at a leisurely pace. This is a great way to get lay of the Namaqualand.