Experience the Northern Cape, South Africa

Whether you’re a hardcore explorer or looking to step away from your creature comforts and explore nature at its best, the Northern Cape has a little bit of something for everyone.

Here are some destinations worth exploring in the province of extremes.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

This transfrontier park in the southern Kalahari Desert is an unspoilt expanse of wilderness.

The park straddles South Africa and Botswana, covering a colossal 3.8-million hectares, which makes it one of the largest conservation areas in the world.

The scarce vegetation and concentration of animals in the dry riverbeds of the Auob and Nossob Rivers make the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park the perfect destination for wildlife viewing.

The park is home to approximately 300 bird species and over 100 mammal and reptile species. Mammals to be seen here include the black-maned lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena. 

Black Lion
The majestic black-maned lion (Image: Ben Haeringer)

Augrabies Falls National Park

The locals refer to the Augrabies Falls in the vernacular as "the place of great noise". When you get there you’ll know why, particularly after there’s been plenty of rain and the Orange River is overflowing and sending a thunderous cascade tumbling over the 56m-high falls.

In addition to the magnificent waterfall, the Augrabies Falls National Park’s ancient landscape is home to indigenous plants and animals. Fauna species include springbok, black-backed jackal, caracal, bat-eared fox and leopard.

Sunset over the gorge at Augrabies Falls National Park (Image: Martin Heigan)

The Rolfontein Nature Reserve

The Rolfontein Nature Reserve comprises 8 000 hectares of rocky outcrops and densely wooded mountain kloofs. The closest village, Petrusville, is about 16km away and the reserve is not far from the Vanderkloof Dam.

Here you can enjoy fishing and other water-based activities in sections of South Africa’s second-largest dam, which boasts the highest dam wall in the country at 108m. Hikers should explore the Pied Barbet trail, while game-viewing enthusiasts keep a lookout for white rhino, zebra, hyena, springbok and black wildebeest.

There's plenty to explore at Rolfontein (Image: Tinus Badenhorst)