Getaways in the Northern Cape
1Hantam National Botanical Garden
Journey from Cape Town up the west coast to the Hantam National Botanical Garden where an incredible 1350 plant species have been recorded. The botanical garden is situated outside the charming, tourist-friendly village of Nieuwoudtville, where you can stay.
2Kalahari Meerkat Project
Between the sand dunes and acacia bushveld of the Kuruman River Reserve is the Kalahari Meerkat Project where 14 wild meerkat groups have been habituated to humans. Get up close to these fascinating little mammals, which are curiously human-like in their habits.
The 3 towns of the Karoo Highlands – Sutherland, Williston and Fraserburg - offer an ancient experience. In this area, pre-dinosaurs called therapsids once roamed the Earth and millions of years later, the San, South Africa's 1st people, lived here. It's also unlikely you'll ever experience better star gazing.
4Mokala National Park
Close to the diamond town of Kimberley, the Kalahari meets the Karoo at the Mokala National Park. Here, you'll find threatened animals, like the tsessebe and black rhino. The park is named after the Setswana name for the signature tree of this area, the camelthorn, with its iconic umbrella shape.
5Augrabies Falls National Park
Characterised by solitary quiver trees and intriguing rocky outcrops, the Augrabies Falls National Park has an otherworldly feel to it. One of its biggest drawcards is the Orange River, which thunders its way through the park, cascading powerfully down the 56m Augrabies Falls.
6Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Before the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park came into existence, South Africa's Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park were united in all but name. They have since been combined to create 37 000 square kilometres of semi-desert wilderness with Kalahari lions, red dunes, peace and space.
7Orange River adventure
The Orange River Adventure in the Northern Cape is one of South Africa's best-kept secrets. In similar rugged parts of the world, such as the Colorado River, visitors book years in advance for this kind of guided rafting getaway.
8The Green Kalahari
The 'Green Kalahari' in the Northern Cape extends for hundreds of kilometres along the Gariep (Orange) River, forming a green belt of nature reserves, wine and grape farms, and a perfect base for adventure activities like rafting. Enter the Green Kalahari via Upington and give yourself time to ride the rapids and travel the byways.
9Namaqua National Park
When you go to the Namaqua National Park in spring, you may feel as if you've tumbled into a child's dream. In the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve section, you will find a world full of orange daisies - great drifts of them. From horizon to horizon, you'll see nothing but spring flowers nodding at you and the sun.
Once you’ve see the wild spring flowers of Namaqualand, drive on to the oasis at Pella, and ask the nuns to take you around the Pella Cathedral, built by early missionaries using a picture from an encyclopaedia as a guide. Meet the warm, friendly people of Pella – and taste some of the sweetest dates in the world.