Experience the Northern Cape, South Africa

Pegged as South Africa’s preferred extreme sports destination, the Northern Cape is home to breathtaking scenery – from the Namaqualand's daisies all the way to the Richtersveld with its unusual natural formations – that makes any outdoor adventure pursuit all the more breathtaking. 

Here, you'll discover some of the best places in the country for abseiling, river rafting, deep cave-diving, land-speed record attempts, mountain biking and 4x4 off-roading. There are countless extreme and adventure sports offerings spread across the province, a few of which we have highlighted below:

White-water river rafting

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Visitors to the province can come and enjoy the exhilarating rapids of the Orange River. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

Embrace your adventurous side by undertaking a white-water river rafting trip along the winding Orange River at the Egerton Game Ranch.

The game ranch offers visitors an option to stay in one of its homely river camps. Enjoy the comfortable river cottages embracing vibrant natural colours and modern African chic design in the open plains of the Karoo.

Prepare to fall in love with the silence of the area, and its stunning scenic beauty and wildlife!

For more information, phone Amie Venter at +27 (0)83 379 3337.

Quad biking in the bush and desert

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The Northern Cape offers a variety of quad biking experiences across the province. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

Powering up sand dunes in the Kalahari as speedily as possible, to see how high one can get before zooming down again, is one of the many exhilarating ways of enjoying a quad bike ride.

Mattanu Private Game Reserve, located 50km outside Kimberley, offers quad biking tours to visitors. 

But if riding your own dedicated fun machine across endless sand dunes is not your cup of tea, there are many other activities to explore in this private game reserve, including helicopter rides, fly fishing and guided game drives. 

For more information, phone +27 (0)60 988 5555 or email reservations@mattanu.com.

Sandboarding in the Kalahari

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Sandboarding is a great adventure sport and, because it's low-impact and very easy to learn, it's also ideal for kids. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

Flying down steep hills at breakneck speed – and then hiking up through the sand to do it all over again – is not for everyone, but those who’ve experienced the thrill keep coming back for more… and more.

With a landscape furnished with soft, sandy dunes, the Northern Cape is an ideal sandboarding destination.

Visitors can come and experience personalised sandboarding tours at Rooiduin Guest Farm near Twee Rivieren, about 45km from Askham.

Here, they caters for extreme sport enthusiasts as well as novice sandboarders. This is a fun sport that will satisfy your need for speed!

For more information, phone +27 (0)82 589 6659.

Richtersveld mountain bike trails

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Enjoy an adrenaline-fuelled Richtersveld cycling experience. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

The Richtersveld is the perfect destination for hiking and cycling enthusiasts. Its rocky mountain passes, sandy gravel roads and soaring day temperatures make cycling here challenging but also truly an experience like no other.

Visitors to the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park need to enter via Sendelingsdrift – the main South African entrance to the park. The nearest town, Springbok, is a 300km drive away and a 4×4 vehicle is a necessity to get around in the park.

For more information, phone +27 (0)27 ;831 1506 or email Meghan.Diergaardt@sanparks.org.

Abseiling

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Abseiling in South Africa has matured from being a niche activity into a mainstream sport. (Image: Pixabay)

Go on an abseiling trip in the Northern Cape! Places such as the mining town of Kathu – a two-hour drive from Upington and three hours from Kimberley – offer abseiling, mountain climbing and rock climbing in the heart of the Kalahari. 

Also consider heading out to the Riemvasmaak wilderness, just north of the Augrabies Falls National Park, for some craggy cliffside adventures.

Abseiling has become a popular South African activity and offers adventure-lovers the chance to get out into unspoiled natural surroundings and truly invigorate body, mind and soul. 

Read more about the myriad other adventure activities available in the Northern Cape here.