The malaria-free Northern Cape, South Africa’s largest province is home to only 1,8% of the total population, and the Diamond City of Kimberley is the capital. It is largely a semi desert area with minimum rainfall and warm temperatures all year round. This place of space, silence and barren land bears South Africa’s largest river, the Orange, which provides the basis for a healthy agriculture.
With a natural kaleidoscope of contrasts, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on everything from the white sands of the Diamond Coast to the harsh Richtersveld mountain desert; the Namaqualand floral canvass to the vast plains of the Bushmanland; the Karoo with its shrubby plains and rocky outcrops to the lush green Orange River Valley; the Green Kalahari bushveld to the red sand dunes of the southern Kalahari. And with 6 national parks to choose from, you’ll also be able to encounter some of the Northern Cape’s greatest game species.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - One of Africa’s last wilderness areas and one of its largest, relatively undisturbed arid savannas. The lack of surface water for most of the year has contributed to minimal human impact and the preservation of the area. Besides the presence of antelope and predators, this park is well-known for bird life, including 20 species of larger raptors. This game park crosses international boundaries and consists of South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok Park and Botswana's Gemsbok Park, to form an unspoilt ecosystem, covering more than a million hectares of semi-desert savannah.
Upington is situated on the banks of the Orange River and surrounded by bright green irrigated vineyards, this area is known as the Green Kalahari. It is its location on the main road to Namibia which makes it a popular stop over for tourists visiting the Augrabies Falls and Namibia. The Augrabies Falls National Park stretches 28 000 hectares on both sides of the Orange River. Its centrepiece are the Augrabies Falls which reach a height of 65m. At the falls, the Orange River plunges into a pool, 92m across and 130m deep and legend has it, that it is rich in alluvial diamonds. These are one of the six largest falls in the world. Home of the Kokerboom and Klipspringer, the Khoi people called it "The place of Great Noise".
Namaqualand invites hikers, bikers and the 4x4 enthusiasts to the Namakwa 4x4 Route – an unforgettable journey towards the largest mountain desert in the Southern Hemisphere, the Richtersveld National Park. A route that will take you through breathtaking scenery along the Orange River; a route which can also be explored by raft or canoe through untamed gorges of this life-giving artery of the region. During August and September Springtime causes a magic transformation in the semi-desert when blazing carpets of flower splendour. More than 3 000 species survive and thrive in this extraordinary semi-desert land of blistering extremes and mystical surprises. Walk around in the unending tapestry of flamboyant and brilliantly interwoven colour carpets of lilies, daisies, succulents and many unique, rare and endangered plants.
Kuruman in the Kalahari is the home of the mission station founded by Robert Moffat and his wife. The water to irrigate the mission gardens, flowed via the first irrigation works in South Africa, its source being the amazing "Eye of Kuruman". This natural fountain flows from the dolomite formations at a rate of 20 million litres of water a day and presently supplies the town's water needs generously, even in periods of drought. It is considered the largest natural fountain in the Southern Hemisphere.
Northern Cape - Map