Did you know?
Sutherland in the Northern Cape has recorded a minimum temperature of -16°C, the coldest on record for the town.
The vast terrain of the Northern Cape province – rugged mountains, soaring dunes and infinite flats – has often been likened to a moonscape and presents the perfect playground for off-road adventures and 4x4 enthusiasts.
In this largely unpopulated expanse of South Africa you'll be amazed by carpets of flowers, stretching as far as the eye can see, juxtaposed with jagged mountains that lure adventurers to test their mettle. Add to the mix spectacular scenery and roaming game to get an idea of what lies in store.
Many trails of differing length and skill await the off-road adventurer, with a couple of them including the challenge of sand dunes.
The 50km-long Egerton Trail explores sand, rocky hills and dongas; the 200km Nossob 4x4 Eco-trail in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park promises challenging dune traverses; and the Witsand offers two trail choices over dunes and mountains.
If it's duration you’re after, head for the Namaqua Trail, reputedly the longest 4x4 route in the country, or tackle the stark beauty of the Richtersveld Route in the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
Riemvasmaak offers three trails covering 160km that vary from deep sand to extremely rough tracks, deep ditches and rocky plateaux – not for novices! Neither is De Postjes Trail, a challenging route through the Nuweveld Mountains.
Head to Augrabies National Park to experience the closest thing to driving on the moon, or to Khamkirri, where trails cater for varying ability. Or add a little sparkle with the tempting Diamond Coast Trail along the West Coast, where shipwrecks and diamond mines add to the adventure.
In the Mier region is the Kalahari Trail, or you might prefer the robust Cobus se Gat Trail in the Namakwa District, or perhaps glimpse the future along the Toekoms Trail in the Namakwa District.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Northern Cape Tourism Authority
Tel: +27 (0)53 832 2657
Fax: +27 (0)53 831 2937
Best time to visit
The impressive kaleidoscope of blooming wild flowers in the Namakwa and Green Kalahari regions of the Northern Cape takes place from late July to November.
What to pack
Binoculars, camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, sturdy hiking boots, water, map, mobile phone, GPS.