The Matzikama in
the Nama-Karoo constitutes parts of the Atlantic Ocean,
the Sandveld, the Knersvlakte
and the Matzikamma Mountain range. The region gently undulates from
peaks such as the Gifberg, Maskam and Koebee to the rich valleys
of interesting landscape are the friendly towns of Vanrhynsdorp,
Klawer, Vredendal, Lutzville, Koekenaap, Ebenheazer, Papendorp,
Strandfontein and Doring Bay.
The unique beauty of the Matzikama
lies in the stark contrast of rugged mountains, sandy plains and
lush riverbeds. The area denotes an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity,
and there are endless horizons to explore. Move off the beaten track
and make sure you experience the best the Matzikama has to offer!
The first thing that may strike you
is the prevalent semi-arid character of the land. Explore a little
further, look a little deeper, and you will find vast unspoilt beaches,
succulent plants, spectacular wild flowers, friendly people, excellent
wines and tasty traditional foods.
To the west, where the region borders
on the Atlantic Ocean, the beauty of the coastline is challenged
only by rich culinary feasts of plump mussels from the bay, crayfish
in season and fresh harders from the river. The coastal region is
also a bird watcher's paradise and a haven to migration whales who
frequent the waters from July. The pristine white beaches are perfectly
suited to long sunset strolls, exploration of rock pools and suntanning.
They also offer quaint fishing villages with interesting locals
that will spin a yarn around a traditional seafood braai.
The Matzikama probably features the
riches diversity of succulent plant species in the world. What makes
these plants so special is that most of them are endemic. Another
floral wonder occurs when the first rains in early winter transform
the seemingly arid expanse. The sunbaked, sandy plains and sandstone
mountains metamorphose into a kaleidoscope of brilliant colours
in spring. - truly a miracle and unique to the Matzikama (this region
receives winter rain whereas most of the other semi-desert areas
in the world receive summer rain).
In order to make sure that you do
not miss the flower season, contact one of the Tourism Offices in
July. With reference to rainfall and other seasonal factors, they
will be able to give you an accurate indication of when the season
is likely to start.
OF WINE AND
The Matzikama region is cultivated
intensively with emphasis on vegetables and vineyards. Enjoy a drive
through the vineyards of the Matzikama Winelands and experience
some of the finest red and white wines in the world. En route, one
immediately notices the influence that the original French and Dutch
settlers had on the beautiful towns of the area. The lush countryside
of the vineyards and rivers of the Matzikama also holds a unique
Winter occurs during the months from
May to August and is generally cool with an average temperature
of 15 degrees. Summers on the other hand are warm and dry, with
a relatively comfortable average temperature of 26 degrees. It is
during this season that the ripening of the orchards takes place.
A vast number of outdoor
adventures exists for more active visitors. The wonderful climate
lends itself to the exploration of this land of contrasts, and one
thing can in all probability be guaranteed - sunshine!
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