As an incentive travel destination, the Northern Cape offers an impressive portfolio of incentive activities.
The province’s extreme sport and adventure offering includes white-water river rafting, quadbiking and abseiling, mountain bike trails, sandboarding and 4×4 offroading.
Its natural offering is equally alluring. From the stark Kalahari Desert in the north, the pounding surf of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the lush vineyards of the Green Kalahari to the rugged flatlands of the Karoo and the floral splendour of the Namaqualand region, the Northern Cape is a province of virtually unparalleled natural beauty and contrasts.
Plus, the Northern Cape offers the opportunity for life-enriching cultural engagements with indigenous tribes such as the San and Nama, which includes traditional dancing, authentic tribal cuisine, local customs and story-telling as well as evocative Khoisan rock art.
Here are some incentive ideas in the Northern Cape that will fill your clients with wonder:
During August and September every year, the Namaqualand region breaks out into wild flowers. The spectacular display attracts more than 100 000 visitors every year and photographic safaris are very popular. You can explore this region of the Northern Cape in a vehicle, on foot or on horseback.
2. RICHTERSVELD NATIONAL PARK
The Richtersveld National Park is situated in north-western Namaqualand. Here, the landscape has a stark, lunar-like feel to it. The area is home to the Nama people, many of whom herd sheep or goats and live off the land. The Richtersveld is popular with 4×4 enthusiasts and nature lovers who truly want to get away from it all.
3. KIMBERLEY MINE MUSEUM
The diamond mining town of Kimberley is home to the Kimberley Mine Museum. This open-air museum includes viewing decks overlooking the famous Big Hole, as well as a number of historic buildings. Known as a “living museum”, the old shops, bars, restaurants, churches and banks appear exactly as they did during the diamond rush days of the late 1800s.
4. ORANGE RIVER
The Orange River, which stretches from the Drakensberg mountain range in Lesotho to Alexander Bay on the Atlantic Ocean some 2 200km away, offers canoeing, rafting and fly fishing for watersport enthusiasts.
The Northern Cape offers stargazing at its best. You can’t visit the province without going on a stargazing safari, with the !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park being designated an international dark sky sanctuary.
The South African Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland is home to the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) – the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. Here, the clear, unpolluted night skies offer you the perfect opportunity to view the stars and learn more about this place known as “the gateway to the universe”.
Or find out the newest developments around unlocking the secrets of the universe with a guided tour of the SKA (Square Kilometer Array) radio telescope project outside Carnavon.
6. KALAHARI DESERT
The Kalahari Desert evokes a picture of never-ending red sand dunes, big blue skies and a scorching sun that shimmers unrelentingly on ancient dry riverbeds.
The portion of the great Kalahari Desert that lies in the Northern Cape is only a part of a large arid to semi-arid sandy area known as the Kalahari Basin. It covers 2.5-million km², stretching from the Orange River to cover most of Botswana and parts of Namibia. It is home to many game farms, nature reserves, as well as the famous black-maned lion, antelope, giraffe, warthogs, jackals and meerkats. It’s an incredible place to visit on an incentive trip.
7. KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was the very first transfrontier park to be proclaimed in Africa, and combines the attractions of the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa. It’s an untouched wilderness that covers a staggering 3.6-million ha, and is situated about 250km from Upington in the far north of the province. Here you will find black-maned lions, enchanting pygmy falcons and an abundance of antelope that follow century-old migration patterns through the park.
It is also home to the San communities who take visitors on spoor tracking excursions, and show them how to recognise edible plants and how to find hidden water. Guided dune walks and game drives are just some of the activities available in this remote part of South Africa.
8. RICHTERSVELD CULTURAL AND BOTANICAL LANDSCAPE
The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a remarkable mountainous desert region in the north-west of the country that is owned and managed by the local Nama communities. The local culture, fauna and flora are something wondrous to behold.