The Namaqua National Park Hot

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Namaqua Dasies

Fields splashed with floral diversity and colors are ubiquitous with the Namaqua National Park. This biodiversity hotspot has much to offer the aspirant wildlife photographer!

The coastal section has numerous small bays where the endemic Heaviside’s Dolphins play and leap amongst the breaking waves.

Boulder outcrops and sandy white beaches line the coastal section and join onto large open flat lands where Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest and Steenbok traverse between the splashes of purples, yellows, pinks and orange flowers during spring and summer.

To the east, rolling hillsides and kopjies add to the diverse scenery and are home to Klipspringers, Chacma Baboons and Rock Hyraxes. Jackal Buzzards and Verraux’s Eagles rule the skies and tangle in aerial fights with one another and the smaller Rock Kestrels and White Necked Ravens.

The Namaqua national Park is worth a visit at anytime of the year and photographic opportunities are always present.

 

namaqualand national park by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick1. The eastern boundaries of the Namaqua National Park comprise of arid rolling hillsides that can be traversed by taking the Rooikat 4x4 Trail.

 

gravel roads within the namaqualand national park by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick2. A wide network of gravel roads allow easy access throughout the Namqua National park, though certain sections can only be reached with a 4x4 vehicle.

 

namaqualand national park camp by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick3. Tourist accommodation can be found in the Skilpad section of the park, offering small self-catering chalets.

 

Camping in the namaqua national park by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick4. Along the coastal section several campsites can be found amongst sheltered bays. Facilities are basic and you need to bring your own water supply.

 

Heavysides Dolphin | Namaqua National Park | Arne Purves5. Heavysides Dolphins in the waves at Koringkorelbaai.

 

landscape photographer by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick6. The Namaqua National Park offers an endless variety of photographic opportunities from landscapes through to the floral diversity and numerous bird species.



southern grey tit by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick7. An adult Southern Grey Tit perches with its recently fledged chick that can be identified by its darker face. 

 

cape long billed lark by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick8. A Cape Long-Billed Lark makes the most of the sandy road network along the coast by taking a midday dust bath.

 

bathing cape wagtail by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick9. A Cape Wagtail bathes in one of the small rock pools filled with rain water.

 

nesting white breasted cormorant by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick10. A White-Brested Cormorant flies into its coastal nest site with a large piece of shrubbery. This is passed on to its mate who then pushes the piece into place on the nest.

 

Little stint by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick11. A Little Stint pauses from feeding amongst the intertidal platforms that have become exposed at low tide.

 

crag lizard by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick12. The Namaqua National Park is home to a large diversity of reptiles, including a number of Crag Lizard species. Here, a crag lizard suns itself on a prominent rock that is surrounded by orange daisies.

 

namaqua dwarf chameleon13. The Namaqua Dwarf Chameleon is an endemic species of this area and if you are extremely lucky, you can find this species amongst the coastal plains.

 

black mussel shells by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick14. Thick piles of black mussel shells may be found heaped along some of the coastal sections, having succumbed to toxic  "Red Tide" conditions.

 

waves breaking over limpets by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick15. Limpet shells cover a boulder that is hammered by waves and is surrounded by kelp fronds upon which the limpets feed.

 

limpets at low tide v16. The Limpet beds within the Namaqua National Park form the highest densities of grazers per square meter in the world.

 

black mussel beds17. The intertidal flats that become exposed at low tide host a wide diversity of invertebrates and are a good indicator of the healthy state of the coastline.

 

daisies growing on the coastline by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick18. The Namaqua National Park is well known for its floral diversity that grows right down to the coastline. Spring is the time to experience this colourful bloom in all its splendour.

 

purple vygies by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick 19. Purple Vygies grow in dense stands and make attractive photographic subjects in spring.

 

Mesembryanthemum alatum by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick 20. Mesembryanthemum alatum plants grow right down onto the beach just above the high water mark and between stranded kelp stems. 

 

new born cape fur seal pup by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick21. Namaqua National Park has a growing Cape Fur Seal colony that in recent years has also becoming an active breeding colony. 

 

fighting cape fur seal bulls by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick22. Bull Cape Fur Seals fight with one another over mating rights. 

 

korringkorrelbaai by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick 23. Korringkorrelbaai is one of the best locations to view the Heavyside's Dolphin frolicking in the waves. They may be best viewed from the granite outcrops viewed in this image.

 

sandy beach of namaqua national park by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick24. Long sandy beach interspersed with rocky headlands make up the wild and pristine coastline of Namaqua National Park.

 

curling wave by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick 25. During winter massive swells rise to form monster waves that crash against the coastline.

 

Suricates | Namaqua National Park | Arne Purves26. Suricate sentries keep a watchfull eye on the skies above as the colony prepares to head out to scavenge for the day.

 

sunset over the west coast by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick

 27. There is little that can surpass the tranquility of a west coast sunset.

 

Images and text by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick and Arne Purves

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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: http://www.peterchadwick.co.zaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
About
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.