Experience the Northern Cape, South Africa

Time sure has been flying by. We’re already halfway through 2019 and hope that the first six months of the year are off to a good start for you and your loved ones. 

We've selected some amazing nature reserves in and around the Karoo to visit this winter – a great time of year to explore, with moderate temperatures making for a pleasant hiking and sightseeing experience.

Discover these natural gems in the province of extremes for an adventure of a lifetime.

Tankwa Karoo National Park

The park is great for star-gazing as it has little light pollution and also boasts off-road tracks, with two major 4x4 routes for the more advanced enthusiast. (Image: lisa paarvai photography)

The Tankwa Karoo National Park offers a peaceful paradise that's perfect for adventurers seeking long drives in the brown landscapes of this semi-desert in the Karoo. In spring (depending on seasonal rains), the park is usually transformed and covered by tiny white paper-like flowers that make a perfect feast for the eyes. The park offers a large variety of land tortoises like few other places in the world, and rich birdlife.

Augrabies Falls National Park

Augrabies features several panoramic viewpoints, all of which give stunning vistas of the park, the gorge and the Orange River. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

The Augrabies Falls National Park was established in 1966 and lies approximately 120km west of Upington. It is named after the majestic 56m-high waterfall within the reserve that is its main attraction. The gorge below the waterfall is about 240m deep on average and runs for 18km, forming part of the Orange River. 

The waterfall was formerly known as Ankoerebis, which means the “place of big noises” in the Khoi language. The park is known for the quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum, formerly Aloe dichotoma), from which Khoisan hunters made their quivers hundreds of years ago. 

One of the park's annual highlights is the Trans-Augrabies mountain bike stage race, which takes place every June. 

Doornkloof Nature Reserve

Doornkloof Nature Reserve
The nature reserve, overlooking the Vanderkloof Dam, boasts a variety of game. (Image: Doornkloof Nature Reserve)

The Doornkloof Nature Reserve lies peacefully in the mountainous Karoo, outside the small town of Colesberg. The reserve is positioned at the top end of the southern shore of the Vanderkloof Dam – South Africa’s second-largest water reservoir. The 9 388ha reserve boasts kudu, eland, brown hyena, reedbuck, steenbok, duiker and a myriad of bird species.

Rolfontein Nature Reserve

Rolfontein Nature Reserve 2
At Rolfontein, you can look forward to seeing game such as brown hyena, springbuck, gemsbok and antelope. (Image: Rolfontein Nature Reserve )

The Rolfontein Nature Reserve is roughly 16km north of Petrusville in the upper Karoo, the land of infinite skies and unending horizons. Rolfontein borders on the Vanderkloof Dam. The reserve is a stretch of 8 000ha of mountainous terrain, Karoo plains, small dolerite koppies and densely wooded mountain kloofs. 

Visitors can picnic in the reserve, or overnight in one of the basic tented camps. Here, you can also look forward to hiking the 4km Pied Barbet Trail, while taking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding area.