Welcome to The Northern Cape!
The land of frontier history and brave missionaries, offers countless challenges for adrenaline junkies, hikers, hunters and 4×4 adventurers. It has impressive parks with endless game and some of the most unique flora in the world.
The Kalahari Desert can be likened to a colossal sweeping river of another kind. Its red sands that once rippled and moved are now mostly stable and home to hundreds of diverse species of flora and fauna.
A place of vastness and silence, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park extends across much of the Kalahari. Every now and then, the unmistakable cry of an African Fish Eagle rings out, or the gut-wrenching roar of a black-maned Kalahari Lion carries across the landscape.
TOP REASONS TO VISIT
Many old buildings, museums and one of South Africa’s most important art galleries lend an historic ambience to the city of Kimberley, that thrust its way to prominence during the diamond rush. A reconstruction of the original ‘rush town’ stands alongside the incredible Big Hole, the largest hand-dug excavation in the world, offering visitors insight into the lives of those who lived and worked through the dreams and nightmares of a vibrant history.
A rich archaeological heritage, including stunning examples of ancient rock engravings, reflects a past that reaches back to the very origin of humankind.
Where valleys of lush green vineyards follow the mighty Orange River through the surrounding red sands and black granite rock. The massive body of water meanders through a giant valley of its making, being at its most impressive at the Augrabies Falls National Park.
The reserve provides sanctuary for Gemsbok, Springbok, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and smaller game.
The sun-drenched Kalahari, with its ancient, undulating landscape and endless horizons, evokes memories of a land before time. Beneath the Kalahari’s great blanket of red sands, hides a treasure trove of iron, manganese and other precious ores. Home to 40 raptor and vulture species and 7 owl species, the red sands also support a vast selection of game farms which are plentiful with wildlife and hardy unusual plants.
Throughout this wonderful part of the Great Karoo, you can visit, hunt or hike on game farms and nature reserves teeming with every species of antelope. Small, isolated villages with distinct Karoo architecture and imposing churches welcome guests from all over.
Each spring the dormant arid winter lands come alive with a flamboyant spread of wild flowers including many rare, unique and endangered plants. Here you can enjoy the cultural interaction of the Nama people, raft or canoe on the Orange River through deep canyons, take a 4×4 on an adventure in the haunting moonscapes of the saw-toothed mountains of the Ai Ais, Richtersveld and Transfrontier Park.
South African Astronomical Observatory
Conducting research into astronomy and astrophysics, the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy. The primary telescopes are in Sutherland, in the Northern Cape. Contributions by the SAAO include the development of a spherical aberration corrector and the Southern African Large Telescope, otherwise known as SALT.