Choose your country and language:
WWitsand Nature Reserve in the Northern Cape is an exceptional eco-destination, featuring geological and climatic anomalies that cause the desert sand to “roar”. This natural attraction is one of the Green Kalahari’s best-kept secrets. The birding here is exceptional, and you'll see plenty of dryland wildlife.
Against the rust-red sands of the Kalahari, the “roaring” white sand dunes of Witsand Nature Reserve are a mysterious natural phenomenon.
These pale dunes are believed to have emerged from an isolated range of hillocks buried beneath the sand, from which springs a natural reservoir that, over millions of years, has gradually leached the red-oxide from the dunes, turning them white.
Known as Witsands' Roaring Sands or Brulsand, their countless millions of grains of sand rub together to emit a deep reverberating hum. For this natural phenomenon to occur very hot and dry conditions are necessary, so although Witsand in the Kalahari is warm all-year round, summer is the best time to experience this extraordinary sand chorus. More of a rumble than a roar, one must be within close proximity of the dunes to hear their unique sound.
AAnother natural phenomenon here is the summer thunderstorms where lightning frequently strikes the white sand dunes – due to the high water table and elevation of the dunes – creating fulgurites, which are glass-like tubes of sand.
Witsand Nature Reserve, Northern Cape
AA self-drive or guided trip to the Roaring Sands is just one of the tours offered at Witsand Nature Reserve. The park supports a wealth of small mammals including meerkats, pangolins and aardvarks. There are also large antelope like red hartebeest, springbok, kudu and gemsbok. During a night game drive, you may chance upon the porcupine, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, Cape fox, genet, springhare and owl. Guided stargazing tours among the dunes are another highlight, courtesy of the Northern Cape’s vast, unpolluted skies.
Though Witsand in the Kalahari appears sparsely vegetated, three major arid region and bushveld vegetation types converge here, attracting over 170 species of birds. The reserve offers a botanical meander where you can learn more about Witsand’s endemic and indigenous flora.
AAn ideal destination to unwind and appreciate unspoilt nature at a relaxed pace, Witsand Nature Reserve will also satisfy adventure enthusiasts. There are challenging 4x4 routes, hiking trails, cycle trails and dune boards for rent.
Whether visiting for the photographic opportunities, or in the hope of experiencing Witsand's famed Roaring Sands, you’re assured of an unusual and unforgettable stay.
The Upper Karoo Route from Victoria West to Calvinia via Carnarvon offers the beautiful landscape of Northern Cape (strewn with daisies in spring), rare wildlife and a thriving, hospitable culture.
Northern Cape is a vast arid province bisected by the Orange River – a superb wedding destination, whether among lush vineyard greenery, spring wildflowers, or the stark dry beauty of the Kalahari.
Northern Cape is South Africa’s driest province, where the arid Karoo merges with the true desert of the Kalahari – but it offers wildlife aplenty, a mighty life-giving river and spectacular scenery.
The Wild Flower Route through Northern Cape province is a wonderland in spring, featuring legendary Namaqualand daisies and thousands more species, and again in autumn when the amaryllis bloom.
The Riemvasmaak Community Conservancy in Northern Cape: hike, drive or bike silent Kalahari Desert splendour amid canyons and hot springs, hosted by survivors of apartheid’s forced removals.
The Richtersveld Community Conservancy – since 2007 a World Heritage Site – has a brilliant array of hardy plants adapted to the arid climate, and an ancient tradition of nomadic seasonal herding.
A honeymoon in Northern Cape province can be all about desert peace, thunderous waterfalls, plains dotted with wildlife, vineyards and lazy river adventures, historic meanders or white-water thrills.
The Tankwa Karoo National Park in the Great Karoo is in a remote area that is perfect for birdwatching, star gazing and spotting semi-desert flora.