Kimberley: The Big Hole
Kgalakadi Transfrontier Park
Quiver Tree Forest
The Eye of Kuruman
The Karoo: Three sisters
The Northern Cape is characterised by very low population size and density, mostly owing to the large land size of the Province. Within an area of scant summer rainfall the arid interior is a world all on its own.
Bleak though it may seem, it is a country of life. Scarcely orphans of the veld, mountain zebra and springbok thrive in the strangely haunting wilderness of the Great Karoo and its many hiking trails. Most of the Province is dominated by open areas of natural vegetation consisting of shrublands and low fynbos.
The coastline stretches for 313 kilometers, along the Namaqualand District Municipality. The area is rich in marine and coastal resources including abundant marine life associated with the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem and rich mineral resources. The existence of mineral resources, particularly diamonds, in the coastal and offshore environments have had a significant impact on the development of these areas as well as the ability of the people of the Northern Cape to use other marine and coastal resources for financial, subsistence and recreational benefit.
The province covers the Great Karoo, Namaqualand, the Richtersveld, the diamond coast and part of the Kalahari.The Northern Cape is characterized by very hot summers. The winters are generally expressed as cold nights and pleasant days, although frontal weather systems passing through the country can result in cold daytime temperatures.
Augrabies Falls National Park
In the language of the Namaqua people, who are indigenous to the area, this means a; "Place of Great Noise." That is just what happens when a river falls 220 feet, which is what the Orange does here. See the falls, but also make a point to explore the fascinating surrounding desert/riverine ecosystem.
The Richtersveld can be described as South Africa's mountain desert on the border with Namibia. It is hauntingly beautiful,despite its harsh climate-being the driest area in the province.
The Richtersveld Transfrontier Park straddles the Orange River, which is the border between the Northern Cape and Namibia. It is a hot spot of botanical diversity with an impressive array of flowering succulent plants, including the unique Quiver tree.It is home to leopards, lizards and adventurers.
Paradoxically beautiful, it is a land for those keen to rough it. You can explore it from the comfort of your 4x4 or paddle the river, taking in the awe-inspiring, seldom-seen purity of an unspoilt wilderness This is an area of cultural interest, with much to learn from the indigenous inhabitants survival skills and culture.
The Eye Of Kuruman.
The Eye is a natural fountain delivering approximately 20-30 million litres of crystal clear water daily, which supplies Kuruman's domestic water, feeds the Kuruman River and spills yet more water into two 7km irrigation canals.The Eye was discovered by Samuel Daniel during the Truter Somerville expedition in 1801 and it was this source of water that led to the establishment of a mission here in the early 19th century, which led to The Eye being described as the fountain of Christianity.
Kimberley became famous with the discovery of diamonds at Hopetown in 1866.
The great attraction here is the 'Big Hole', which is the largest human-dug excavation of the era in the world. Mining at the hole ceased in 1916.The De Beers Hall Museum houses a display of cut and uncut diamonds.
There are worthwhile art and photographic galleries to visit. The Kimberley Tram Service dates from the beginning of the century and still transports passengers from the City Hall to the Mine Museum.Underground mine tours are a big attraction.
History and military enthusiasts should enjoy places related to the Anglo-Boer war as the battle of Magersfontein, the site of a catastrophic defeat of the British lies just to the south.
A cultural centre at Wildebeestkuil outside Kimberley features !Xun and Khwe artwork for sale and a tour of rock engravings by these indigenous people. Kimberley is an easy stop-off or overnight stay on the N12 alternate route from Cape Town to the northern provinces of South Africa.
Klipspringer Hiking Trail (Near Augrabies)
Route: Circular route starting at the caravan park at Augrabies Falls via Twin Falls, Oranjekom and Echo Corner.
Length & Duration: 26 km 3 days
Accommodation & equipment: Stone huts built by the local people are equipped with bunks and fireplaces.
Hikers must provide their own food, first-aid equipment and sleeping bags. Closed from 15 October to end of February annually. Max. Trail Capacity: 12
Route: 8 km from Kenhardt, a desert area known for its saltpans.Length & Duration: 4 km
Accommodation & equipment: No facilities available. Max. Trail Capacity: No restriction
A San family
Northern Cape Province
Northern Province Map.
Kgalakadi Transfrontier Nat. Park.
A recent amalgamation of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and the larger Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, this park now covers 36,000 sq.
km -- one of the largest wilderness areas in Africa.
The semi-desert's erratic rainfall forces the parks huge population of wildlife to wander great distances from watering hole to watering hole.
Because of the park's great size, the biodiversity is especially strong. Healthy numbers of springbok,
gemsbok, eland, red hartebeest and blue wildebeest, and antelope roam about. They are stalked by 19 different predators, including the Kalahari lion.