Four thrilling activities to try in the Northern Cape of South Africa

discoverafrica 17 January 2018
Part of the South Africa Safari Collection
Back to the Our Blog

Ever desired to travel to a place where you can connect with nature in its purest form? A place in which you can enjoy the vast dry sand of the desert and yet be at the shores of one of the largest and mightiest rivers? Have you dreamed of traveling to a place where you can be at the heart of a traditional community and be part of their rich culture? Then the Northern Cape in South Africa is the place you need to visit.

The Northern Cape is the largest province in South Africa with a unique history and culture. Be sure to include these activities in your safari itinerary:

1. Explore the Orange River

Running through the Northern Cape and into Namibia and Botswana, the Orange River is one of the longest rivers in Africa. It is home to very diverse animals and vegetation which makes it one of the most beautiful landmarks in South Africa. Start off your safari by taking a guided rafting tour down the river. Enjoy paddling, swimming and learn how to navigate the swirling rapids as the Orange River snakes its way through the bold landscape. Experience the exciting contrast between semi-desert and lush river banks and get your bird watching fix as the Orange River and surrounds support more than 100 species of birds.

Image credit: Dirty Boots Adventure Guide

2. Visit the Big Hole

South Africa is renowned for diamond mining and a tour of the Northern Cape isn't complete without visiting the remnants of one of the biggest diamond mines in the world. With the discovery of diamonds in the Kimberley area around 1871, the Big Hole was excavated by hand and at 214 metres deep, is the largest of its kind. A collection of historic buildings around the hole will give you a deeper insight into the lives of early diamond miners. Also central to the history of this quaint town is the Anglo-Boer War where Kimberley was the location of a siege that claimed the lives of those who tried to defend their town.

3. Enjoy the beauty of Namaqualand

While this huge expanse of land is dry and hot for most of the year, something magical happens during spring. The arid land turns into one of the most beautiful places in the world with millions of wild flowers blanketing the landscape in orange, yellow, purple and blue. For as far as the eye can see, these wild daisies stretch across the beautiful coast, offering safari-goers the chance to photograph this awesome spectacle. Walking tours, hiking and biking are ideal activities to try in Namaqualand.

4. Visit the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

This very large animal conservancy stretches from the Northern Cape in South Africa to Botswana. It is home to very diverse wildlife, ranging from top predators such as lions, leopards and cheetahs to game such as wildebeest, zebra and eland. It is also home to more than 200 species of birds which include eagles, vultures and several species of buzzards. The best activity to enjoy in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are morning and evening game drives, either on a self-drive adventure or with expert game rangers at the many tented lodges available throughout the park.

Image credit: The Extreme Gentleman

The Northern Cape might be South Africa’s most sparsely populated province but it's hallmark is the warm and friendly people that makes any activity a joy. Expect great hospitality and a generous welcome wherever you go in this historic region.

Include the Northern Cape into your safari itinerary with our cost calculator that allows you to accurately predict what the cost of your African safari will be.


Some related info

Five romantic honeymoon accommodation options in South Africa

The South African and Zambia honeymoon is perfect for the couple looking to be alone and pampering after many months of hectic wedding planning. In South Africa, honeymoons can be spent many beautiful and classic accommodations, so the only decision newlyweds need to make is whether to stay in one place or several - by choosing one of these five romantic honeymoon accommodations options…

Five great roadside restaurants to visit when travelling South Africa

Road tripping is always an awesome time to unwind, bond with family and friends and escape the city for a few days. However road food often doesn’t leave much to the imagination with literally hundreds of generic fast food chains being the only real option along many of the main routes in South Africa. This however is a vague misconception as if the discerning road traveler takes a…

Walking safari with Heribert Joseph Mardai

Meet Heribert Joseph Mardai, a Tanzanian born on the slopes of Mt.Kilimanjaro, at over 1,800 mt above. He is a walking safari guide specialist, driver guide and a trainer guide in the Little Oliver’s Camp, Tarangire National Park (Asilia Africa). From a young age, he always loved animals, cats in particular and every little creature that crawls, slithers, flies or run. After high…

5 Best travel apps for iPhone

To celebrate the brilliant entrepreneurship and inventive genius of Steve Jobs, we dedicate this post to him by showing our tech savvy traveller how having an iPhone in your pocket can save the day. Rest in Peace Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) “3 Apples changed the world: One seduced Eve, the second awakened Newton and the third was in the hands of Steve Jobs." -…

Photographer of the Month: Margot Raggett

One of the joys of working in the travel industry is getting to know people who are truly passionate about Africa. Not only is our continent arguably the most beautiful and thrilling, we have abundant wildlife and flora found nowhere else on the planet. There is something so special about Africa, and in order to preserve its natural bounty for future generations, we have to raise…

The rise of astro tourism in Africa

A resurgence in cosmic stargazing has seen a marked increase in astro tourism to many countries, particularly those in high latitude countries where the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) can be viewed. In 2017, the total solar eclipse in the United States resulted in a major tourist boom across the belt from Oregon to South Carolina as people made their way en masse from big towns seeking…