The largest of South Africa's provinces, the Northern Cape is also one of the country's most remote. Covering a vast area of wilderness, this huge expanse covers a diversity of terrain and encompasses a number of attractions, from the incredible Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to the wild flowers of Namaqualand.
The capital of the province is Kimberly - a former stronghold for diamond mining. The lasting signs of the industry are found not just on the city itself but also on the landscape: the main attraction here is the aptly named Big Hole - a gaping man-made chasm, 500m across. The Kimberly Mine Museum is the gateway to discovering the secrets of the Big Hole and the history behind Kimberley's mining operations.
Travelling northwest from Kimberly you'll find yourself in the small town of Kuruman, the real draw here is the natural spring which has fed the town for generations, known as the Eye of Kuruman. Nearby you'll find the Tswalu Private Game Reserve. This is the largest private reserve in South Africa and affords its guests an incredible luxury safari experience. Tucked beneath the towering Korannaberg Mountains view extremely rare black rhino and wild dog and enjoy spectacular cheetah, lion and antelope sightings.
In the far north of the province lies one of the Northern Cape's principle attractions, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Spilling across the border into Botswana, Kgalagadi was the first transfrontier park in Africa. The red dunes and semi-desert environment that characterise much of the park is home to a wide variety of species, including the Kalahari lion, with their distinctive dark manes, leopard and hyena. A number of smaller predators are also found in the park along with some spectacular birdlife, all of which you can see from exciting game drives.
South of Kgalagadi lays the Augrabies Falls National Park, the highlight of which is, of course, the Augrabies Falls. Fed by the 2000km Orange River, the spectacle of this natural beauty lies in its unusual setting - the rising smoke of the falls striking an exciting contrast against the surrounding barren landscape. River rafting and light game viewing are the main activities here.
120km to the west of the park you will find the small town of Upington, an excellent stop over before moving on to explore either Augrabies or Kgalagadi. The Orange River cuts through the town and is its defining feature; staying in a riverside guesthouse is a favourable option. To Upington's southwest the region of Namaqualand is well worth a visit - unique and beautiful, it is the region's glorious wildflowers that command the spotlight. Throughout August and September the dry and empty landscape explodes in colour as thousands of flowers bloom from the arid earth to provide one of South Africa's most visually stunning displays of natural beauty. Covering such a vast area, it's little wonder holidays to the Northern Cape cover such a wide diversity of attractions.
An outstanding safari experience encompassing luxury accommodation, incredible scenery and spectacular wildlife.
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