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Posted on: Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Exploring the Northern Cape

Posted to: Northern Cape
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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.

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.

Namaqualand Daisies

Namaqualand Daisies

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.

There are airports in Kimberley and Upington, and the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is about 470 kilometres away.

Some of the major towns of the Northern Cape, in addition to Kimberley, include Pofadder, Olifantshoek, Postmasburg, Upington, Sutherland, Alexander Bay, Port Nolloth, Springbok, Prieska and De Aar.

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.
Witsand Nature Reserve

Witsand Nature Reserve

  • 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.

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Northern Cape Popular Attractions
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Northern Cape Lodges & Hotels
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Kimberley Station


The Big Hole


Amelia Meyer


Amelia is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for all things travel-related. She is based in Knysna, but has studied, lived and travelled further afield. She studied Film, Media and Literature at the University of Cape Town. She began her solo career in the form of Voxate Writing & Editing in 2008 and loves every minute of it. Amelia believes in silver linings, lessons learnt and the responsibility to do what’s right. When she is not writing, she can frequently be found at the local animal shelter, on the bicycle trails of the nature reserves or sampling new restaurants with her family.

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