Winter Rains Make Namib Desert Blossom

28 Aug 2023

Instead of stones and gravel, suddenly blossom after blossom as far as the eye can see. This miracle of nature can currently be experienced in the southwest of Namibia. More precisely: at Aus on the edge of the Namib Desert. "On the slopes and in the high valleys of the Aus Mountains on the territory of Klein-Aus Vista, the mass flowering is very impressive," enthuses Piet Swiegers of the Desert Horse Inn

The colourful phenomenon was not unexpected. The cause was the exceptionally good rainfall at the beginning of July (see report on The rainfall a month later, which even included snow), promises another flowering period. 

However, a severe sandstorm right between the two winter rainfalls had dampened expectations of a mass flowering. This is because many plants were badly affected in the sand blast. "But only the plains at the foot of the Aus Mountains have been affected," reports Piet Swiegers. 

Most fans of Southern Africa have heard of the mass bloom in Namaqua Land in north-western South Africa. Few know that the same phenomenon can be experienced at Aus on the edge of the Namib Desert. 

The reason: Aus is located on the northern edge of the so-called Succulent Karoo, to which Namaqua Land belongs. This biome, which occupies the southern part of the Namib, receives winter rains and is considered exceptionally rich in species. About six weeks after particularly good rains, the plants form their flowers. 

Sven-Eric Stender 

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