This area also known as Namaqualand is one of the most diverse succulent plant areas in the world. There are a variety of succulent plant habitats within short distance from each other. One such area is the Knersvlatke, an area of white quartz full of small succulent plants.
Near this area we found the Lankverwacht farm which quickly became one of our favorite place to stay at. We have stayed at this farm twice – in 2013 and again in 2015. The first time was for 3 nights and the second time for 5 nights. Both times were too short to feel “relaxed.
From this 800 hectare farm we can drive to the Knersvlatke to visit the self-guided succulent plant trail or to the bulb capital of the world Niewoudtville and the nearby Hantam Karoo Botanical Garden. We can also visit an Aloe dichotoma forest. The farm with its two cottages and, more recently, a camping area is a good base to explore the area. From the farm it is only a 15 minutes drive to the nearest town of Vanrhynsdorp.
Sakkie and Marietjie
The owners Sakkie and Maritjie are very friendly and they have an interest in plants. They have produced a small photo guide (available for puchase) to the many flowers they have observed at the farm.
Besides looking for succulents we were also able to use our telescope to observe the Southern hemisphere skies. This area is relatively dark even though the town of Vanrhynsdorp and Vredendal are not too far away. Below a series of photos taken just outside our cottage – with a camera on a special tripod/adapter for following the motion of the sky.
Photo of the Milky Way with our camera and a tracking platform.
Part of the constellation Orion; the Great Nebula in Orion is the bright fuz near the middle.
One of the advantages of traveling to the Southern Hemisphere is to see the sky that cannot be seen from Northern Hemisphere locations. Here we see the Large Magellanic “cloud” – a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. It cannot be see from the US or Europe.
The Eta-Carina nebula (in the constellation Carina). This nebula is arguably more spectacular than the Orion nebula. You don’t see colors with your eyes but with a time exposure you get such colors. This is a telephoto shot.
A wide-angle shot towrads the south showing the Milky Way and both Large and Small Magellanic clouds.
A dirt road rising from near the Lankverwacht Guest Farm, going over a small pass. This road is for 4X4’s mostly.
The following photos show some of the succulents we found while exploring Lankverwacht guest farm. There is a mix of photos taken in january and September 2015 . There are some examples showing the same plant in September when plants are more succulent and then later in January (summer in the southern hemisphere) when plants have dried out significantly.
Termite mound next to entrance to the farm.
View of the two cottages for rent at Lankverwacht – photo from near the main highway.
Photographing succulents near our cottage.
Living room in our cottage.
View of the main bedroom.
Views of our cottage from the west.
The main house (at left) and the cottages.
Late afternoon walk on the farm.
Closer view of the fairly abundant Cheiridopsis cigarettifera.
Crassula deceptor flowering stalk
Crassula deceptor flowers
This is the habitat of Argyroderma delaetii-patens found at the farm.
Argyroderma delaetii-patens in the dry season.
Argyroderma delaetii-patens. This is in the summer (photo taken in February) time when the plants are dry.
Argyroderma delaetii-patens. Plants photographed in Springtime when the plants are well hydrated and look much more succulent.
Argyroderma delaetii-patens with ring (16 mm in diameter (inside), a size 6) for scale.
Hills at the edge of the farm. Many succulents if you take the time to walk and look.
Euphorbia mauritanica next to termite mound.
Angulate tortoise shell.
Conophytum minutum photographed in February (plants are dormant and look very dead).
Conophytum minutum photographed in September when plants are green and succulent after the winter rains. Size 6 ring (16 mm in diameter-inside).
Photographing succulents at the farm, just beneath our cottage.
Closer view of Crassula barklyi.
Rosario next to a termite mound. The hole may be an Aardvark’s.
Views of the Maskam mountains from our cottage.
Anacampseros namaquensis with size 6 ring for scale.
Beautiful afternoon at the farm.
Hills at the farm after a moist evening in the springtime. Plenty of acres to explore and look for succulents.
A tripod is needed to photograph the low growing succulents.
Our cottage in the distance.
Closer view of our cottage.
Tylecodon wallichii with leaves.
Our cottage and car.
Beautiful sunset at the farm.