Exploring the Northern Cape
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.
Kimberley is the capital city of the Northern Cape. This town remains well-known for The Big Hole, where mining operations have formed a giant pit that is not a little impressive to witness. View some of the world’s most beautiful diamonds in Kimberley and visit the historical diamond fields of the Northern Cape if you appreciate the magical beauty of this rock.
This area is rich in culture and heritage, since it was initially occupied by the Namibian Bushmen, who migrated downwards into South Africa. These ones left the stories of their lives in the form of rock art and implements that remained long after their deaths. However, as colonialists and settlers arrived, the Bushmen were soon ousted and the whole region that is today known as the Northern Cape was taken over by French and Dutch farmers.
Some of the attractions and activities within the Northern Cape include:
- The Namaqualand daisies, which fill the earth like a multi-coloured carpet every year, usually between July and September.
- The Augrabies Falls National Park is known the world over for the magnificent waterfalls. Witnessing this majestic power is humbling, reminding us of how very tiny we are.
- The Kalahari Desert enters the Northern Cape and is home to an astounding number of plants and animals. Because this entire area is quite arid, the fauna and flora found here are very different to those in other regions of the country.Deep-red dunes rise up to meet clear blue skies, while lions, antelopes, giraffes and many more species traverse the plains in peace. There are a number of farms and reserves within the Kalahari for tourists to visit, including Tswalu and Witsand Reserve.
- The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape has been awarded the status of being one of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. The harsh landscape has an eerie beauty of its own and is managed very responsibly by descendents of the original Khoi-Khoi people.