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Northern Cape

This is a harsh, unforgiving landscape not given to agriculture which makes it unique in South Africa. But amongst the arid starkness of the Karoo and Kalahari, which make up the majority of the Northern Cape province, there are flashes of life unique to the area … MORE \ Discovering the Northern Cape \ To find a place to stay visit Northern Cape Accommodation or Northern Cape Hotels. (Popular searches for accommodation include Kimberley and Upington).

Monday, 17 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is easily described in terms of remoteness. Both vast and under populated, by comparison with anywhere else in the country, it annexes 373 000 sq km – most of it the far-flung, empty spaces of the hinterland defined by relentless heat and desert sand dunes; the landscape knobbly with quiver and Halfmens trees.

Yet this aridness also relinquishes some of nature’s most generous treasures – the richly green wine-producing banks of the Gariep Dam, the legendary Augrabies Falls, dunes teeming with wild life, and spring flowers that oblige a desert mutation from a barren terrain into a latticework of blooms.

To  help you navigate, here are the Top Ten Natural Attractions in Northern Cape… Continued

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

10 Karoo towns with weird sounding names

It isn’t difficult to find unusual names in the Karoo. It seems as if this vast, effortless aridity gives rise to names that are the deuce to pronounce, if you’re a visitor, and difficult even if you live in South Africa.

Here are 10 Karoo towns with weird sounding names… Continued

Thursday, 9 July 2015

10 Oddities that make the Northern Cape such a gem

The Northern Cape is a vast province. It occupies a chunk of South Africa’s north western territory, curving around the southern projection of Namibia, sharing parts of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with Botswana, and bordering on the Eastern Cape’s Venterstad, and the Free State’s Christiana.

People head to the Northern Cape to disappear. It isn’t difficult given the countless little towns about which nobody has heard – Melkboom, Breeshoek, Aggeneys, Rooiputs and Hotazel are just a few of them. Continued

Thursday, 28 May 2015

10 Far-Flung Karoo Towns For Fabulous Festivals

If you’ve ever looked at a map of the Karoo (the Groot and Klein Karoo) you may have noticed that it occupies a huge chunk of central South Africa.

It stretches from Alexander Bay on the West Coast, encompassing the bulk of the Northern Cape, all the way to the Free State towns of Smithfield and Cookhouse on the Karoo’s eastern boundaries, whilst its southern borders are dotted with Route 62’s well-known towns from Robertson through to Uniondale.

Its towns read like a list of who’s who of the Platteland – Loeriesfontein, Van Wyksvlei, Prieska, Putsonderwater, Philippolis, Bitterfontein, Koffiefontein and Kuboes.

With so many towns to choose from, just where in the Karoo does one go? In this, the first of a series of blogs on the Karoo, we bring you 10 Far-Flung Karoo Towns For Fabulous Festivals... Continued

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

10 attractions that will have you packing your bags for the Upper Karoo

For many the Karoo is a great expanse of (dry) land somewhere in the middle of South Africa. Just where this place of great heat and frosts, with an annual rainfall of next to nothing, starts and ends is a mystery, expounded by the impression that its extent is unknown (although we estimate it as nearly 400 000 square kilometres).

We have rather a romantic notion about its limitless skies, Marino sheep, succulents, windmills and little hillocks. Rightly so, as it is unusually beautiful. Some of us speak with longing of retiring to a town in said expanse of land, to fritter away our days running fish ‘n chips shops, or little coffee cum bookshops. Others actually do this… Continued

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Visit Kimberley

We arrived in Kimberley on a mid-Sunday afternoon at its brilliantly atmospheric railway station. As you descend onto the platform you are immediately conscience of how wonderfully different it is from other modern day stations. The metal latticed roof structure is designed to allow plenty of natural light in and the wooden benches perfectly accompany the calligraphy signage boards that announce your arrival with all the flair of a bygone era. Stone walls and white arches guide you out and into the Capital of the Northern Cape. Continued

Wednesday, 23 October 2013
What to wear in South Africa

What to wear in the Northern Cape – The Northern Cape Packing List

The Northern Cape has a unique climate, thanks to its being situated higher up and along the Namibian border. It is home to part of the immense Kalahari Desert, which means that a large proportion of the province is either arid or semi-arid. It is hot and dry. While this may not yield a particularly green and lush vegetation that is typical of provinces like Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape certainly does boast a beauty all its own. Continued

Friday, 27 September 2013

Kimberley Shines Bright Like A Diamond In The Northern Cape

When you think of Kimberley, you probably think of the ‘Big Hole’. Although this is probably one of the main highlights here, Kimberley has many other exciting attractions, upcoming events and wonderful things to do.

Originally a diamond mining town, Kimberley’s ‘Big Hole’ was hand dug in the plight to mine diamonds hidden deep below the surface. The Big Hole is just over a kilometer deep and has a total surface area of 17 hectares. Not only is the view from the lookout point here simply breathtaking but the De Beers mine tour that takes you underground is absolutely fascinating and definitely worthwhile.  Continued

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Navigating the Mighty Orange River

The 2 200km long Orange River, the leviathan of Southern African Rivers, whips and winds its perennial tail through an incredible array and variety of landscapes beginning in the appropriately named Drakensberg (Dragon Mountain) catchment area. Along its course the Orange plays a vital role to the people of South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia and is also responsible for the squiggled international border between the former and the latter.

Excepting the 193km to the west of it, the Orange runs the breadth of South Africa culminating in an extravagant exit into the Atlantic at Alexander Bay into which it pours it’s orangey silt, from which the river takes its name, at an average rate of 50 000 litres per second. Continued

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Adventure Sport in the Northern Cape

posted to: Northern Cape
Canoeing on the Orange

Canoeing on the Orange

South Africa is full of magnificent hotspots for adrenalin-addicts to explore, and the province of the Northern Cape is no exception. In fact, it is one of the favourite destinations for those that love pushing themselves to the limit in terms of adventure sports.

The landscape of the Northern Cape is as varied as it is beautiful. Although this is the largest province in the country, it is also the most sparsely populated; promising vast expanses of open countryside for the adventurous among us to enjoy.

Some of the natural resources that create real highlights for visitors are the Augrabies Falls, the entire Namaqualand region and the magnificent Orange River. Having these at your fingertips means plenty of opportunities for just about any adrenalin-inducing fun imaginable. Continued

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Exploring Kimberley in South Africa’s Northern Cape

The Big Hole

The Big Hole

Kimberley is a town filled with diamond mines, haunted corners, home of Anglo-Boer monuments and gentleman’s clubs where the rich and famous all convened. Visiting Kimberley is like taking a tour of big parts of our country’s rich history. Aside from getting an education and looking into the past, you can enjoy the wide open spaces of a national park close to town. Here are a few things to do whilst there:

The Big Hole

This has got to be Kimberley’s greatest claim to fame- the world’s largest man-made hole which cultivated vast amounts of diamonds. Visit the site to see where many miners spent their days digging up this natural treasure which drove an industry and fed South Africa’s economy. You can also take a look at the Lady 616 which is the world’s uncut diamond. Continued

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Have You Been to Prieska

Ria Huysamen Aloe Garden

Ria Huysamen Aloe Garden

Prieska is a very small town that is perched along the Orange River in the Northern Cape. It is 240 kilometres south of Kimberley and its famous Big Hole. Although having been occupied by indigenous South Africans, such as the Bushmen, for generations, it was only made a formal municipality in 1878.

Little was known about Prieska until the late 1800’s and the earliest part of the 1900’s. At this time, farmers began to travel to Prieska when the salt pans flooded. These farmers built homesteads, established farms and set up a small community, but never developed the town much further than a few churches. Then, during the devastation of the Anglo-Boer War, Afrikaners spread throughout the area now known as the Northern Cape Province. Later, they retreated to the Transvaal (or Gauteng as it is now called). Continued

Monday, 19 November 2012

Colesberg Coolness

Lovely Colesberg

Lovely Colesberg

Colesberg is a small Karoo town that lies along the N1, between Cape Town and Johannesburg. Being situated amidst tall koppies (including the famous Coleskop) and sheep farms that stretch for miles through the rugged South African terrain, Colesberg truly is a haven of a very special kind of beauty.

When mission stations were built in this area in the 19th century, they soon attracted needy Khoisan people. Farmers got nervous about the stability of their property and insisted that the area be declared their property. So, in 1830, the town was named Colesberg after Sir Lowry Cole.

This history permeates the town’s atmosphere and its people. Many of the buildings, especially the churches, showcase the architecture and heritage of these past times, giving visitors a first-hand perspective of the politics and goings on of more than a century ago. Continued

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Exploring the Northern Cape

posted to: Northern Cape
The Big Hole

The Big Hole

The Northern Cape is an exquisite province, where peace and tranquillity meet rich history and magnificent landscapes. As South Africa’s largest and most sparsely populated province, vast expanses seem to carry on endlessly, apparently untouched and pristine. The Orange River is a major part of the Northern Cape’s landscape, feeding the plants and providing life-giving water to the animals around it; providing a stunning spectacle to those sitting on its banks.

The Northern Cape borders Botswana and Namibia, which means that it is particularly accessible to travellers from African countries. In addition, being situated here also means an abundance of natural fauna and flora, which are often the lure for tourists from around the world. Continued

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Kalahari Desert

Stunning Desert

Stunning Desert

The Kalahari Desert is a huge area of land that extends from the Northern Cape of South Africa up into Botswana and Namibia. It is believed to be some 500 million years old and is home to a number of fossils that have fascinated researchers for decades. It measures almost a million square kilometres.

Despite being arid, with only a small amount of rainfall every year, the Kalahari Desert is actually home to a huge variety of plants and animals. Flora includes Acacia trees, Kiwano trees, short grasses, and the famous Baobab Tree. Of course, because the area of this desert is so extensive, the vegetation and biomes change somewhat from one area to the next. For instance, the centre of the Kalahari experiences a lot more rainfall and is, therefore, a lot more lush and fertile. Continued