Experience the Northern Cape, South Africa

Northern Cape attractions such as the Augrabies Falls National Park, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the Richtersveld and the Namaqualand in spring have been named among South Africa's 50 most “instagrammable” places.

The increasingly popular tourist destinations were highlighted after international travel website Big 7 Travel listed South Africa as the fifth most instagrammable destination in the world for 2019.

Read on for our profiles of four must-visit destinations in the province of extremes and what visitors can expect at each one.

The Augrabies Falls National Park

This 51 430ha conservation area along the Orange River, about 120km west of Upington, was established in 1966 and is famous for the 56m-high Augrabies Falls that plunge into a granitic gorge below, and the mighty river that snakes through scenic rock formations. This scenic beauty makes the park the perfect spot to snap and share with Instagram audiences across the globe.

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The 56m-high Augrabies Falls are a top Northern Cape attraction. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

The Augrabies Falls National Park is also home to many birds and animals, including the colourful Broadley’s flat lizard (locally known as the Augrabies flat lizard), the chacma baboon, giraffe, leopard, black-backed jackal, gemsbok, kudu and eland.

Activities in the park include walking the three-day Klipspringer Hiking Trail; the 5km self-guided, circular Dassie Interpretive Trail; night drives; birdwatching, 4x4 trips; and enjoying picnics in beautiful spots.

For more information and bookings, call +27 (0)54 452 9200 or email augrabiesres@sanparks.org.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Endless red sand dunes and imposing camel thorn trees mark the arid landscape of the 38 000km2 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, one of the world’s unspoilt ecosystems.

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Giraffes are among the many beautiful creatures that can be spotted in the park. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

The transfrontier park straddles the borders of two countries – it is an amalgamation of South Africa’s former Kalahari Gemsbok Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park, making it one of the largest conservation areas in the world.

A variety of game roams this semi-desert savanna landscape, including gemsbok, springbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and eland, and predators such as the black-maned Kalahari lion, leopard and cheetah. Smaller animals you can see here include mongoose, porcupine and honey badger. Two prominent species found here are the ground squirrel and the meerkat.

Activities in the park include morning and sunset game drives, a 4x4 eco-trail and various wilderness trails.

There are five picnic spots in the park, each with its own barbecue facilities and communal ablution blocks. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is every photographer’s dream, particularly if you are looking to capture wild animals in their natural environment.

For more information and bookings, call +27 (0)54 561 2000 or email kgalagadi@sanparks.org.

Off the beaten track in the Richtersveld

The |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park straddles the Orange River border between South Africa and Namibia. It was formed in 2003 through the signing of a treaty between the two countries.

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Towering halfmens trees strike a pose in the arid landscape. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

This dry desert landscape consists of rugged mountains, rolling hills and undulating plains, and contains some of the world’s richest desert flora. About 2 700 plant species are found in this region, despite receiving only 15mm of rainfall in the valleys and 33mm on the mountain tops in winter between May and September.

Activities that visitors can look forward to include roaming the national park in 4x4 vehicles; guided walking trails; and enjoying game drives accompanied by experienced field guides. There are also various archaeological sites featuring San rock art.

One of the iconic sights of the Richtersveld is the peculiar “halfmens” (meaning “half human”) tree (Pachypodium namaquanum). From a distance, these trees have a striking resemblance to the silhouette of a human figure.

For more information and bookings, call +27 (0)27 831 1506 or email RNPreservations@sanparks.org.

Namaqualand daisies

Namaqualand has a worldwide reputation for its spring wildflowers that appear annually after the winter rains – usually in the period from late August to October. The usually arid semi-desert landscape transforms into a tapestry of colours, creating a botanical wonder like no other in the world.

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The unrivalled wildflowers of Namaqua during spring. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

The wildflowers occur in various parts of Namaqualand and places such as the Goegap Nature Reserve near Springbok, the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve and the Namaqua National Park all provide excellent opportunities for viewing.

Bookings are already open for the Namaqua National Park’s sought-after annual spring flower camps. The Namaqua Beach Flower Camp is set near the beach north of the Groenrivier entrance to the park, and the Namaqua Flower Skilpad Camp is inland.

Accommodation at the camps includes tents with comfortable beds, duvets, electric blankets and electric lights, and will be open from 16 August to 8 September 2019.

Visitors can also experience the renowned 4x4 Shipwreck Trail, a 37km guided trail along the Diamond Coast between Koingnaas and Kleinzee that explores pristine beaches, shipwrecks, and archaeological and historical sites – perfect for capturing those memorable instagrammable moments.

For more information and bookings, call +27 (0)83 652 5489 or email pr@experiences.co.za