We were asked to wait, so we could travel safely “later”. We stayed at home and patiently waited, and later is finally now! Yes, interprovincial travel is back and we highly recommend a short trip to the Northern Cape.
Whether you’re searching for vibrant cultural activities, wildlife safaris, breathtaking scenery or adventure, the province of extremes has got you covered.
Consider trying out these tourism experiences that are guaranteed to leave an impression of the Northern Cape etched in your memory for a lifetime:
For breathtaking scenery, visit the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Here are a few things you need to know about the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: the park is 38 000km² in size, straddling South Africa and Botswana. It’s one of only a few international dark sky sanctuaries in the world.
The transfrontier park is characterised by a semi-desert of red dunes and star-crammed skies. It’s a place where you’ll find wildlife such as the gemsbok and the black-maned Kalahari lion, ensuring that visitors experience adventure, a sense of solitude and freedom in the wilderness while creating a lifetime of memories.
Enjoy active adventure along the Kalahari Red Dune Route
Take a leap of faith and dare yourself to experience adrenaline-fuelled activities and adventure along the Northern Cape’s Kalahari Red Dune Route. The region is known for its comfortable lodges, rustic bush camps, traditional San villages and hospitable guest farms dotted around the wilderness.
To get your dose of a natural high, visit the Kalahari Trails Private Nature Reserve, regarded by many as the best-kept secret in the Kalahari. The nature reserve is situated 35km south of the Kgalagadi park and is run by Professor Anne Rasa, who is a real legend in these parts. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to hike with her and her meerkats by day. Be sure to also stop over at !Xaus Lodge to take in the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape (a ǂKhomani San living museum), where you can learn how to shoot a bow and arrow and make fire the way our ancestors did.
Khamkiri is the heart of wildlife safari
Go wild at Khamkirri, located along the Orange River in Kakamas. Here, you’ll be treated to a traditional game drive, travelling through the Khamkirri river camp.
Expect to be spoilt for choice when viewing the magnificent plains game, as well as the region’s other fauna, in their vast natural habitat. Animals you are likely to come across are springbok, eland, zebra, kudu, wildebeest, gemsbok and various bird species such as the fish eagle and Verreaux’s eagle (black eagle). Visitors can choose between a sunrise or sunset game drive, or do both. You’ll stop to enjoy refreshments at one of the many spectacular lookout points while taking in the splendour of the great Kalahari.
Experience pristine beaches and floral splendour
If you want to avoid the busy beaches in the rest of the country and try something different, the province of extremes has its own coastline area, stretching from Hondeklip Bay all the way to Port Nolloth. If you love the outdoors, seeing unspoilt landscapes or just want a break, then visiting the Northern Cape coast will be perfect for you.
In this part of the Northern Cape, you can also explore the legendary Diamond Coast Shipwreck Trail, stretching along Namaqualand’s coastline for approximately 37km. This trail, which is ideal for 4x4 enthusiasts, explores dunes, shipwrecks and disused diamond mines. This stretch of coastline, located between Koingnaas and Kleinzee, has, over the decades, exacted its toll on several ships that have tried to come ashore (some in search of diamonds).
Spring wildflowers in the Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape are expected to peak over the next two weeks before they start fading in mid-September. Those keen to see this kaleidoscopic display of Mother Nature at her brilliant best should consider day visits or an overnight stay at the Skilpad or Groenrivier sections of the Namaqua National Park.