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When the cold season sets in, the Northern Cape puts on its winter coat of greys, browns and reds – a breathtaking display of natural shades.

There’s something to be said for travelling in winter – the rates are lower, and destinations offer loads of specials because it’s not the peak travel season.

And, of course, there’s the opportunity to while away the hours in establishments that offer warm fireplaces, great winter food and cosy surroundings.

Winter days in the Northern Cape can be warm, so there are still plenty of opportunities to explore nature and the outdoors. In fact, a number of outdoor events are held in the province during the colder months. 

The popular three-day Trans-Augrabies MTB mountain bike race takes place in the heart of winter, from 16 to 18 June 2022. The almost 300km route takes riders through parts of the Green Kalahari, including the Augrabies Falls National Park and the community of Riemvasmaak.

!Xaus Lodge in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. (Image: !Xaus Lodge)

Looking for something a bit less physically challenging? The Northern Cape’s isolation makes it the ideal destination to escape to the stillness of the great outdoors. There are plenty of game lodges to welcome you, with options to suit every budget. 

There are six national parks scattered across the province, including two magnificent transfrontier parks – the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Then there are a number of private reserves and secluded game lodges. You choose what best suits your needs and your pocket.

The South African Astronomical Observatory field station in Sutherland. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

If you don’t mind the cold at all, consider embarking on an adventure to one of the province’s coldest places – Sutherland in the Karoo. Home to the famous South African Astronomical Observatory observing station as well as the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), it’s regarded as South Africa’s stargazing capital. 

Make an appointment to visit the observatory – it’s guaranteed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

A trip to the town is well worth the drive, and there’s so much more to this remote area than its pristine night sky.

So, pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure (along with your winter woollies) and head to the spectacular Northern Cape!