The Northern Cape's fascinating lunar-like landscapes, ancient cultures and incredible national parks make this a must-visit province for anyone that loves the great outdoors and has a sense of adventure. Explore the evocative Kalahari Desert or marvel at magical Namakwaland's daisies.

Did you know?

There are an estimated 3 500 species of plants in Namakwaland, with more than 1 000 indigenous to the region.

Its incredible landscapes, fascinating San communities and amazing national parks makes the Northern Cape an incentives destination filled with wonder. Here are some Northern Cape incentive ideas.

The Kalahari evokes a picture of never-ending red sand dunes, big blue skies and a scorching sun that shimmers unrelentingly on ancient dry riverbeds.

The portion of the great Kalahari desert that lies in the Northern Cape is only a part of a large arid to semi-arid sandy area known as the Kalahari Basin.  It covers 2.5 million square kilometres, stretching from the Orange River to cover most of Botswana and parts of Namibia. It is home to many game farms, nature reserves, the famous black-maned lion, antelope, giraffe, warthogs, jackals and meerkat. It's an incredible place to visit on an incentive trip.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was the very first transfrontier park to be proclaimed in Africa and combines the attractions of the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa. It's an untouched wilderness that covers a staggering 3,6 million hectares, and is situated about 250 km from Upington in the far Northern Cape. Here you will find black-maned lions, enchanting pygmy falcons and an abundance of antelope that follow century-old migration patterns through the park.

It is also home to the San and Mier communities who take visitors on spoor tracking excursions, show them how to recognise edible plants and how to find hidden water. Guided dune walks and game drives are just some of the activities available in this remote part of South Africa.

The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a remarkable mountainous desert region in the north-west of the country that is uniquely owned and managed by the Nama communities.

The Richtersveld’s fascinating culture and history dates back at least 2 000 years. The area has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It offers interesting insights into how people have managed to exist in this harsh landscape. The |Ais-|Ais/Richtersveld National Park includes some of the world’s richest flora and fauna and is well-known for its 4x4 trails.

You can’t visit the Northern Cape without going on a stargazing safari. The South African Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland is home to the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) - the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. Here the clear night skies offer you the perfect opportunity to view the stars and learn more about this place known as ‘The Gateway to the Universe’.

Namakwaland is famous for its stunning display of wild flowers at the beginning of the spring season. Just after the first spring rains, the arid desert bursts into an endless carpet of wild flowers, becoming a veritable ocean of colour and scent. The region is popular for photographic safaris.

The capital of the Northern Cape is Kimberley, South Africa's diamond capital. It is home to the Big Hole and Kimberley Mining Museum, one of Kimberley's major attractions. It is the largest hand dug excavation in the world - 215 m deep, with a surface area of 17 hectares.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Northern Cape Tourism Authority
Tel: +27(0)53 832-2657/2643
Email: northerncapetourism@telkomsa

How to get here

There are numerous ways to get to the Northern Cape. You can fly into Kimberley and Upington, take the Shosholoza Meyl rail service to Kimberley, utilise several inter-city bus services such as Big Sky Coaches, Translux, Greyhound and Intercape. You can also hire a car and drive to the Northern Cape, or take a tour with a local tour company. 

Best time to visit

Summers can get very hot many regions of the Northern Cape with the period April through to October milder.

Tours to do

The Northern Cape Tourism Authority highlights a number of interesting tourist routes on its website. These are the Anglo Boer War Route; Flower Route; Orange River Wine Route; Red Dune Route; and the Roaring Kalahari Route -each providing its own experiences and activities. See the Northern Cape Tourism Authority website for more details.

Get around

In the more rugged areas of the Northern Cape, a 4x4 vehicle will be required to navigate the rough terrain.

Length of stay

To fully explore the wonderful experiences the Northern Cape has to offer, a two-week trip is recommended.

What to pack

Northern Cape summers are generally hot and winters mild so pack light summer clothing from September through March, and a mix of summer and winter clothing from April to August. No matter the season, always bring a windbreaker for cooler temperatures. If you're visiting Sutherland, the coldest place in South Africa, be sure to pack warm clothing.

Where to stay

From 5-star hotels to quaint bed and breakfast accommodation establishments, guest houses, lodges,self-catering units, cottages and farms, the Northern Cape has many different types of accommodation to suit every budget.