Guest Post: Nieuwoudtville

Note from Lisa: Estie is Willie’s twin sister i.e. my sister-in-law, friend and faithful follower of my blog. She’s very modest in her “about me” bit when she says she’s “another scientist trying to write”, as she co-authored a Life Sciences textbook which was published last year! Lisa.

Map source:


Lisa has a policy about writing only about things that make her happy. To continue on that note I want to tell you about things that make me happy.

Maybe first a little bit about myself: I am a Life Sciences teacher (another scientist trying to write), living near Cape Town, with a passion for nature, reading and crafts.

School started with a bang and now I need to go to the place where I can recharge, but alas that is not possible. So I will try and tell you about Nieuwoudtville, my happy place.

Nieuwoudtville is a small (I mean tiny) place in the Northern Cape. It is famous as the bulb capital of the world. It is a biodiversity hotspot and every year in spring it is visited by thousands of people wanting to see this bouquet of flowers in the field.

Namaqualand wild flowers (Image source: Takeshi Itoh/Flickr)

Namaqualand wild flowers (Image source: Takeshi Itoh/Flickr)

Namaqualand wild flowers (Image source: Takeshi Itoh/Flickr)

What I really like about the place is the sound of the sheep in the erf (plot of land) next to you – yes, it is the only place  in South Africa you can  keep your own sheep in town. It is dark at night and you can see the milky way and thousands of stars. It is relatively close to Sutherland, famous for its telescope and stars.

Nieuwoudtville house amongst wild flowers (Image source:

I normally go in winter and it is very cold there – the air is crisp and freezing and I need some of that now. It has been in the 30°Cs this past week and trying to teach has been nearly impossible.

Where I stay: Ixias Bed & Breakfast, Nieuwoudtville

It is possible to sit on the stoep of the house and see the veld in front of you and the sun going down.  I miss that a lot at the moment. Sunset at the moment is “suicide hour” with cooking, trying to get the schoolwork and the piano practice done. I could do with some “me time” now.

But thinking and writing about Nieuwoudtville has made me quiet for a little bit and that was great. There are so  many other great things about the place and I’ll tell you about those later.

May you have some “me time” today.


Credits: Wild flower photographs courtesy of Takeshi Itoh via Flickr Creative Commons.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Guest Bloggers, Nature/Environment, Random


I am a Life Science teacher (another scientist trying to write), living near Cape Town, with a passion for nature, reading and crafts.


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19 Comments on “Guest Post: Nieuwoudtville”

  1. February 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi Estie, nice to “meet” you!

    Thanks for sharing your happy place. Nieuwoudtville sounds idyllic. Would love to hear more about it, and maybe the people who live there?

  2. Estie
    February 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm #


    Nice to meet you too. As Lisa said, I read her posts and your comments every day. I will try and tell you more about the place and the people.

  3. February 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    I guess that´s a good rule and thanks for sharing a little bit more of you and this fantastic place!

    • Estie
      February 8, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it.

  4. February 8, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Thank you for agreeing to write for my blog Estie! I’m looking forward to your future stories.

    • Estie
      February 8, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      Thanks for the opportunity. It was fun.

  5. February 8, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    What a beautiful place. It would make me happy too.

    • Estie
      February 8, 2011 at 9:45 am #

      You must try and visit it soon! Thanks for the reply.

  6. February 8, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    The fields of flowers remind of the Texas Hill Country when the Blue Bonnets bloom- then come the Indian Paint Brushes. Field of blue- later sprinkled with red. Beautiful. Seeing your happy place took me home to mine. Thanks!

    • Estie
      February 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

      Glad it took you to your happy place!

      • Willie
        February 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

        Hi Estie, I enjoyed your post. Amblerangel’s comment includes very descriptive names of the flowers of Texas, you can almost picture the flowers just from the names (flowers in Texas – somehow that does not seem to fit the tough cowboy images that the name conjures up). Anyway that reminded me of the very descriptive names for the local South African flowers and plants – hopefully you can write a post about that some day?

  7. February 8, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Hi Estie – what a beautiful part of the world you live in! I’m not sure that I’ve been to Nieuwoudtville but I’m pretty sure my parents have been, on their annual pilgrimage to “see the flowers”. I absolutely love the spring flowers – there’s nothing in the world quite like them.
    We spent a weekend in Wuppertal some years ago – that was such a fascinating experience, I loved it and loved the town and the people.

    • Estie
      February 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

      Yes, the Hantam and Cederberg are very special places. I love Wuppertal and will write something about it. Thanks for you comment.

  8. February 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Hello Estie

    What a lovely idea to write a guest post! You have such a friendly, peaceful way of writing… I could feel your love for the place seeping through the words on the screen and into my heart too.

    I’ve only driven past Nieuwoudtville once/twice – on the way to and from Carnarvon, where my husband is working on the Karoo Array Telescope project. I’ve never been there during the flower season – but your pictures have totally convinced me that we need to plan a trip and a stay for August/September this year!

    • Estie
      February 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      Thanks, that is so lovely of you.

  9. jacquelincangro
    February 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    Hi Estie,
    Here is another great place for me to tell my friend to see when she visits South Africa later this year! (September, I think.) It’s beautiful – I can see why it’s your happy place.
    How do you pronounce Nieuwoudtville? So she can sound like a local! 🙂

    • Estie
      February 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm #


      Thanks for your comment. You got me worried with the pronounciation, but if you try “new””vote”‘ville” it would sound ok. I hope she enjoys the trip.

  10. February 9, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    What a great post, Estie! And the photos are stunning! Thanks for writing and thanks to Lisa for introducing us to you! I look forward to future posts!
    from Haiti,

    • Estie
      February 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm #


      Thanks for the comment. It is great experience for me and I hope to write soon.

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