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Northern Cape Province:



The Northern Cape is the largest of the 9 provinces, taking up a third of the country.  Although it is predominantly a dry and arid semi-desert area, it is home to one of the six floral kingdoms of the world, the Namaqualand, where visitors come to see the magnificent display of flowers in the spring. 


Outdoor activities throughout the province include white water rafting on the Orange River, hunting, hiking, and scenic  drives to name a few.  Other attractions include ancient cave and rock paintings, late Stone Age artefacts, the museums and Big Hole in Kimberley and “the place of great noise”, Augrabies Falls.




Apart from a narrow strip of winter-rainfall area along the coast, the Northern Cape is a semi-arid region with little rainfall in summer. The weather conditions are extremely cold and frosty in winter, and extremely hot in summer. In January, afternoon temperatures usually range from 34 to 40º C.


Gemsbok in South Africa Farming in the Northern Cape Bushmen Family in the Northern Cape Giraffe in South Africa

'© South African Tourism


Top Destinations:



Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape is most well known for the Big Hole.  Due to the gold rush that started in the 1860’s Kimberley quickly became known as the diamond capital of the world.  Today, Kimberley is a modern city with broad, tree-lined streets, attractive parks and gardens, comfortable hotels and busy shopping centres. 




Upington is a beautiful green oasis situated on the banks of the Orange River and is ideally situated as a stopover for travellers from Johannesburg or Cape Town heading towards Namibia.


The largest town of the Northern Cape, Upington is the gateway for visits to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Kalahari Desert and the Augrabies Falls National Park. Upington is a striking town with stunning landscaped gardens and tall elegant palm trees inviting a peaceful and hospitable atmosphere. The central business area is abuzz with activity and boasts modern shops, fantastic restaurants, and superb facilities.





Main Attractions:

‘The Big Hole’ in Kimberley


The Big Hole in Kimberley is the largest man made excavation in the world, reaching a depth of 240m and a width of 463m. The mine is no longer in operation but between 1871 and 1941, 2 720kg of diamonds were extracted.  The Kimberley Mine Museum, situated next to the Big Hole, gives visitors the opportunity to see what the town was like in the heyday of the mine.


Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park


The Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park, an amalgamation of the former Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok Park, is more than 36,000 sq km.  Kgalagadi means place of thirst. It is located largely within the Southern Kalahari Desert and the terrain consists of red sand dunes, sparse vegetation, occasional trees, and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob rivers The park is teaming with wildlife including gemsbok, wildebeest, eland and lions.  Kgalagadi is also a haven for birders, especially those interested in birds of prey.




Upington is situated within the fertile Orange River Valley and is the main commercial, agricultural and educational centre of the region. Upington is an agricultural hub for one of the most intensive sultana grape farming areas in the country, and even hosts an annual Raisin Festival - a colourful parade of floats, beauty competitions, craft building competitions, potjiekos, pancakes and lots of fun for family and visitors.


Diamond Fields


In 1866 a large diamond was found on the banks of the Vaal river by a young boy, the diamond was called Eureka.  Shortly after that an 83 carat diamond was found by a shepherd in the area that was later called the Star of Africa.  These discoveries resulted in thousands of people converging on the region to dig for diamonds and hence the great South African diamond rush.  Towns of interest in this area include Barkly West, Griquatown and Kimberley.