10 things to do in the Northern Cape

Posted on 7 September 2023 By Jordyn Johnson

Although the Northern Cape is South Africa’s biggest province, it is often overlooked as a holiday destination.

With breathtaking landscapes unique to the rest of the country, wildlife, wine farms, and exciting outdoor activities, this underrated province is a nature lover and adventure seeker’s dream. Consider one or two of these ten things to do in the Northern Cape for your next holiday.

1. Wine tasting

Picture: Unsplash

As you drive through the Northern Cape, you’ll notice fields upon fields of vineyards. It is a powerhouse of wine-grape farming, and several wineries offer wine-tasting experiences. Orange River Wine Cellars is the biggest in South Africa, and you can taste their selection at their cellar in Upington. Bezalel Wine and Brandy Estate, Die Mas, and Landzicht are three other wineries that offer delectable wine-tasting experiences in the Northern Cape.

2. Namaqualand National Park

Northern Cape

The main tourist attraction of the Namaqualand National Park is the wildflowers that bloom in the springtime. However, this semi-dessert Karoo biome has picnic spots, two nature walks, and a 5 km scenic drive you can enjoy while visiting this national park.

3. White water rafting

Adventure seekers should tackle a white water rafting experience on the Orange River. You can spend a morning on the river or challenge yourself to a multi-day river adventure. The scenery, exciting rapids, Vitamin D from the sun, and time spent on the water is the perfect escape from everyday life.

4. Riemvasmaak

Northern Cape

Between jaw-dropping rock formations and arid landscapes, laze around in Riemvasmaak’s hot springs. If you go out of the holiday season, you might find you’re the only one there to enjoy the area’s landscape, warm water, incredible birdlife, and solitude. Remember to look for the image of Africa that the rocks create while you’re there.

5. Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

Northern Cape

Picture: Getaway Gallery

Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is a transfrontier park that shares a border with Namibia. It is the world’s only arid biodiversity hotspot and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors are treated to beautiful mountain-scapes, desert wilderness scenes, prolific birdlife, and mammals like steenbok, klipspringer, mountain zebra, leopard, and caracal.

6. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park shares borders with Namibia and Botswana and is known for its spectacular bird life, large antelope herds, and big cat sightings. The red dunes roll on as far as the eye can see, and the watering holes are prime spots to find the park’s wildlife.

7. Witsand Nature Reserve

Tackle the Northern Cape sand dunes at Witsand Kalahari Nature Reserve. Spend the morning sandboarding down the dunes, make use of the reserve’s picnic sites, or enjoy a day of birding when you visit Witsand.

8. Augrabies Falls National Park

Northern Cape

Augrabies Falls National Park is one of the most well-known Northern Cape attractions, and for good reason. ‘The Place of Great Noise’ has several viewpoints from which you can observe the impressive waterfall. You can also walk the Dassie Trail if you feel like an 8 km hike or stroll to the top of Moon Rock for a different perspective of the park.

9. Quiver Tree Route

The Quiver Tree Route was developed in 2008 to promote tourism in the Northern Cape. It takes you through areas like Upington, Keimos, Marchand, Kenhardt, Kakamas, Augrabies, Kanonieland, and Riemvasmaak. The route showcases some of the many attractions and activities that can be experienced along the Orange River and was named after one of the region’s most common and popular plants.

10. Mokala National Park

Northern Cape

Picture: Roxanne Reid

Mokala National Park is situated 70 km outside Kimberley and was established to protect several endangered species, including black rhino, roan antelope, and Cape buffalo. It has the highest conservation ideals and offers you the chance to see these endangered animals and the rare sable antelope and tsessebe.

Pictures: Robynne Baudin/ @intotheout

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