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Tourist attractions in Northern Cape

black-maned Kalahari lions

This is the largest province in South Africa and covers almost a third of the whole country. It is bordered by Namibia and Botswana. 

The Northern Cape is sparsely populated and in some sections, you could drive for hours without coming across any people. It is home to the Khoisan, descendants of the San and the Khoikhoi people. It is also home to the Nama people, a semi-nomadic group following the same migratory route for thousands of years.  

The Province is famous for its rugged landscapes, nature reserves and wildlife, rich mining history and blue skies. 

Here are some of its famous attractions:

Augrabies Falls National Park 

The Khoi people called this place ‘Aukoerebis’, meaning ‘the place of the great noise’. They were referring to the thundering noise of the Orange River from a spectacular 60m high waterfall. The falls rank sixth highest in the world. 

Among the animals living here are klipspringer, porcupines, leopards, baboons, vervet monkeys, and more than 140 species of birds. 

The Big Hole 

This is the world’s largest man-made hole and is found in the provincial capital, Kimberley. Kimberley is known as Diamond City and holds the history of South Africa’s wealth foundations. It is the size of 8 football fields. Between 1871 and 1914, 22.6 million tons of earth and rock were excavated from the mine, producing 14.5 million carats of diamonds. 

Namaqua National Park 

More than 1000 of its 3500 plant species are not found anywhere on earth. The world’s smallest tortoise-the Namaqua Speckled Padloper is also found here.

Most of the year, this is a semi-desert. However, the July to September rains causes many flowers to grow. A circular drive during the spring flower season, with several viewpoints along the way, makes it a popular attraction to many. 

Northern Cape Wine Estates

Famous labels from these estates include Oranjerivier, Wozani, and River’s Tale. This destination is popular for its crisp and refreshing wines. 

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park 

The southern Kalahari is a phenomenon with a large ecosystem largely not influenced by human activity. Scanty vegetation makes it easy to see the numerous wildlife here.

The black-maned Kalahari lions are the most iconic in this park. The park is also a protection area for cheetahs, gemsbok, meerkats, and many species of birds. Four-wheel drive is recommended in this region.