Northern Cape is the largest of South Africa’s provinces and the least populated. Despite this, the Northern Cape has much to offer visitors, whether your interests lie in the origins of the diamond industry, the Anglo-Boer War, wildlife, the brilliant spring flowers of Namaqualand, sailing on canoe down the mighty Orange River or enjoy the clear skies. and open spaces of Hantam and Upper Karoo.
CLIMATE: The Northern Cape experiences a wide range of climatic conditions due to the respective regions and altitudes. The North Cape enjoys a summer rain, but this is infrequent. The summer months have long, hot summer days and cool nights. Winter days are mild, but nights are bitterly cold, with temperatures often dipping below freezing. Snow in winter and heavy frost at night are common.
SHOPPING: There are many shopping malls, craft shops, and many ethical vendors on the beach. Good buys include mohair products such as sweaters, rugs, and blankets; the famous Karoo Lamb, nuts, diamonds, jewels and gems.
TOP TEN ATTRACTIONS:
The diamond field:
This area is known as the grassland country of southern Africa, with sun-drenched, grassy plains and thorny acacias. For geologists, this is a mystifying delight, and for the tourist, the “Diamond Road” is an exciting journey that takes one back in time.
Today, the city is a prosperous and prosperous metropolis that deserves the title of “the diamond capital of the world.” The city is geared up for tourists, with much to offer in terms of accommodation, restaurants, shopping malls, and attractions. See a replica of the city during the greatest diamond run the world has ever seen, as well as ‘Eureka’, the world’s first recorded diamond discovery at the Big Hole museum and Kimberley Mine.
The coastal estuary of Groenriviersmond (Mouth of the Green River) is located southwest of Garies and offers excellent opportunities for crawfish fishing and diving.
Spring sees this region transform from a desert landscape into a carpet of colorful wildflowers, attracting many visitors. Also a playground for the adventure tourist, the region offers hiking, canoeing and 4×4 trails. The coast is popular with fishermen and is home to a thriving crayfish industry. Diamonds are also mined from the sea, and copper is also mined. The world famous Richtersveld National Park is located in this region.
Millions of years ago, this area was an inland sea and over time it has been transformed into a barren and rugged landscape with wide open plains and mountains. This region is known to astronomers for its remarkable night skies and is home to the South African Astronomical Observatory. The region is also known for its spring wildflowers and is home to the rare Sterboom.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park:
Africa’s first transboundary park, Kgalagadi, the ‘land of thirst’, is shared with Botswana and crosses the border to facilitate wildlife migration and free movement of predators; The red sand dunes, sparse vegetation, and dry beds of the Nossob and Auob rivers ensure excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography. Fifty-eight species of mammals and more than 400 species of plants share the desert and dry savannah, while approx. 260 species of birds, including at least 20 species of large raptors, share the sky.
Richtersveld National Park:
The Richtersveld, the largest montane desert park in southern Africa, has 160,000 hectares of lava mountains and sandy plains situated on the north-west bend of the Orange River. It is also one of the most precious and fragile ecosystems in the world. Its strange rock formations shaped and sculpted by the wind and the sun, is a land for those eager to ‘rough it’. Visitors can explore the area from the comfort of a 4×4 or by paddling along stretches of the river.
Dominating this region are lush vineyards and the massive Orange River, which meanders through a giant valley. The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Augrabies Falls National Park with its famous Black Rhino Adventure are not to be missed.
Augrabies Falls National Park:
One of the five largest waterfalls in the world, Augrabies Falls plunges 56m into a turbulent, billowing maelstrom of foam, mist and rainbows said to contain untold riches of diamonds and a river monster. This is where the black rhino can be found and visitors can also go on game drives.
The sun-drenched Kalahari, with its ancient, rolling landscape and endless horizons, evokes memories of a land before time. This region is home to “El Ojo”, a permanent and abundant source of daily water. Hunting in the area is popular and the Kalahari is home to over 40 species of raptors and vultures and 7 species of owls.