The Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s biggest provinces with a size of 372,889 km2, therefore it covers more than one-third of South Africa. It is an arid to semi-arid land and has long travelling distances, incredible heat and receive an annual rainfall of only 202mm. But it also has some of the most amazing miracles that South Africa has to offer with diamonds that was dug from dirt, wild animals running free in the dunes and landscapes covered with flowers in the most amazing colours.
The great Orange River, that flows from the Lesotho Highlands to the Atlantic where it forms the border with Namibia, separates the Kalahari and the Great Karoo ecosystems that fill the interior of the Northern Cape.
Upington is the gateway to the wonderful Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Augrabies Falls National Park and en-route to visit the Namaqualand in flower season.
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of only a few conservation areas that’s left in the word that covers an area of 3.6 million hectares. This area, covered with red sand dunes, dry riverbeds and sparse vegetation the Kgalagadi offers excellent mammal viewing with magnificent photographic opportunities. Even bird watchers, especially those interested in birds of prey, will be overwhelmed by the species that can be seen.
The seasonal movement of large herd like blue wildebeest, springbuck, red hartebeest and eland is a very big attraction for guests, and one can then easily see a lion and other predators waiting for their prey.
When you travel about 120km west of the town Upington, you will find the Augrabies Falls National Park, that was established in 1966. The Khoikhoi people named the waterfall the “place of big noise”. The waterfall has a height of about 60 meters and the gorge below has a depth of 240 meters and runs for 18 kilometers. The Park covers a very arid area of 820 km². The Quiver Tree is the most characteristic plant found in the park and can grow up to five meters in height. On your way to the falls one can easily spot families of rock rabbits (dassies) as well as lizards burning up in the sun. Taking one of the many hiking trails one can even spot wildlife like Springbuck, Klipspringer, Pygmy falcon and Black stork.
On the Western side of the Northern Cape, 375 km from Upington, you will find the Namaqualand, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to Pofadder in the east called, north from the Orange River and south beyond Garies – this area is truly a vast and varied region.
The Namaqualand undergoes one of nature’s most spectacular transformations in August and September, when, after the winter rainfall, the land displays carpets of magnificent wild flowers in a kaleidoscope of colours. Not too far away, in the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, you will discover a wonderful display of blossoming succulents.
So get in your car, drive our long distace, endless roads and experience the magical places that the Northern Cape has to offer.