The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province and a must-see destination, whether you prefer the ocean, the desert, the bush or quirky towns rich in history and culture. Comprising of 5 regions each with its own history and experiences
DIAMOND FIELDS REGION
The Diamond Field Region is a small tourism area in the Northern Cape, South Africa. It was the heart of the diamond rush in the mid to late 19th century. Kimberley is the administrative capital and main city of the Northern Cape Province. Old buildings, museums and one of South Africa’s most important art galleries lend a historic ambience to the city that thrust its way to prominence during the diamond rush. A reconstruction of the original “rush town” stands alongside the incredible Big Hole, the largest hand-dug excavation in the world, offering visitors insight into the lives of those who lived and worked through the dreams and nightmares of a vibrant history we take for granted. A rich archaeological heritage, including stunning examples of ancient rock engravings, reflects a past that reaches back to the very origin of humankind.
GREEN KALAHARI REGION
A land of contrasts, where valleys of lush green vineyards follow the mighty Orange River through the surrounding red sands and black granite rock. The reserve provides sanctuary for gemsbok, springbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, eland, lion, leopard, cheetah and smaller game. One of Africa’s last pristine game reserves, the size of the park allows for the mass migration of different species, a sight inducing awe and deep seated emotion. Travel peacefully from wine cellars to tearooms in the desert. The mighty Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Africa’s first transfrontier park, comprises almost 3.7 million hectares of sparsely vegetated, red sand dunes and dry riverbeds.
It occupies almost all of Botswana, the eastern third of Namibia, and the northernmost part of Northern Cape province in South Africa. The Kalahari is home to 40 raptor and vulture species (of 67 species in South Africa) and seven owl species (of 12 species nationally). The red sands also support a vast selection of game farms which are plentiful with wildlife and hardy unusual plants. And, each day, in a display of superabundance, millions of litres of crystalline, mineral rich water pours into this arid landscape.
Karoo arid to semiarid region of Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Northern Cape provinces, South Africa. The Karoo is best defined by its vegetation, which consists of assorted succulents and low scrub bushes. The area is devoid of surface water, and its name is derived from the Khoisan word meaning “land of thirst.” Its subregions include the intermontane vales of Little Karoo and Great Karoo in the lesser-elevated areas of Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces and the main Karoo (or Upper Karoo) spanning the vast highland plateau of Northern Cape province to the north and east of the Great Escarpment.
A distinct Karoo architecture and imposing churches rest in valleys between desolate, flat-topped koppies. Take a short trip from Colesberg, an essential stopover for all travellers and a sheep-farming centre, to Hopetown, the scene of South Africa’s first recorded diamond find. This wonderful part of the great Karoo, visit, hunt or hike on game farms and nature reserves teeming with every species of antelope. And, like the country they live in, the hardy inhabitants of the Karoo make you feel immediately at home in their beloved countryside
Namaqualand extends from the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast, to the little town of Pofadder in the east, to the Orange River in the north, south to Garies, and includes the Hantam Karoo, along the southern border of the Northern Cape. Regarded as a portion of the Succulent Karoo, Namakwa (Namaqualand) forms part of the only arid hotspot in the world; is regarded as a biodiversity hotspot, and as such boasts the richest succulent flora on Earth.
Each spring the dormant arid winter lands come alive with a flamboyant spread of wild flowers including many rare, unique and endangered plants. Adapting to a climate defying all life, they survive and thrive in a beautiful land of blistering extremes.