Everyone thinks that there really isn’t much more to this province than good lamb, a big diamond mine and seasonal daisies, but just like the treasures hidden in Kimberley’s Big Hole, the Northern Cape has a plethora of magical things to do and see. It’s a bit like looking into the stars, if you know where to look, there is so much to find. The people are friendly, the weather is great and the opportunity to explore makes the Northern Cape South Africa’s most uncovered gem. Take a detour down the impeccable N12 highway and discover there is more than meets the eye in this mysterious province.
The quaint little town is famous for being the second most important railway junction in the country. It also boasts ancient Khoisan rock engravings and is even home to a huge ammunitions dump, but what most people don’t know is that De Aar is a world famous paragliding and hang-gliding destination. De Aar hosted the 2008 and 2009 XC World Series. De Aar even holds two gliding world records and most of the country’s national records due to the winds and thermals in the area. There are museums and other interesting things to see, but De Aar is the perfect place to visit if you’re an adrenalin junkie looking to take to the skies.
Everyone thinks that there really isn’t much more to this province than good lamb, a big diamond mine and seasonal daisies, but just like the treasures hidden in Kimberley’s Big Hole, the Northern Cape has a plethora of magical things to do and see.
A small agricultural town in the north eastern part of the province, about 120 kilometres from Kimberley. Hartswater is of critical importance to the province and the country, as it’s a central part of the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme, one of the largest irrigation schemes in the world, but besides its value to the water network of South Africa, one of the best things to do in the area is visit the Hartswater Wine Cellar. The cellar first produced wine in 1977 and it invites visitors to come, taste and experience the wine they have on offer. The Cellar offers tours to visitors and we’d happily recommend you try their Elements and Overvaal ranges. The whole Hartswater cellar experience is unique and offers the wine buffs something different to the typical tours made famous in the Western Cape.
Kimberley really is a jewel in South Africa’s crown. We highly recommend a visit to the biggest city in the Northern Cape to see the big hole, or play a round of golf on one of the exquisite golf courses there, but for those of you looking for some alternative fun, we suggest a visit to the world famous Kumba Skate Plaza. The Skate Plaza is home to the Kimberley Diamond Cup, a $500,000 World Skate Series event which attracts some of the world’s best skate talents. The skate park has some of the best facilities anywhere in Africa, and with its location right in the heart of the action, it’s easy to base all your activities around this adventure park.
AfrikaBurn is the spectacular result of the creative expression of a community of volunteers who gather in the Tankwa Karoo to create a temporary city of art, theme camps, costumes, music and performance. AfrikaBurn brings people together to create art, burning structures, out-of-this-world costumes, mutant vehicles and much, much more. All of this is created through the volunteer culture of the citizens of Tankwa Town in the Karoo once a year.
For those of you who love to travel on two wheels, then the Gemsbok Rally is one place you need to be. Hosted every July at the Upington Expo grounds, the Gemsbok Rally attracts motorcycle and car enthusiasts from across the country and features stunt bikes, fun races and good food. With a quarter mile drag race competition for the participants and an antique car show, the Gemsbok Rally has become an event which encompasses brotherhood in the motorcycling fraternity.
Conducting research into astronomy and astrophysics, the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy. The primary telescopes are located in Sutherland, in the Northern Cape and include the development of a spherical aberration corrector and the Southern African Large Telescope, otherwise known as SALT. SALT was a partnership between six countries and it makes South Africa one of the global hotspots for the understanding of space and the night sky. From Monday to Saturday there are two guided day tours and four night tours per week. A maximum of 20 people are allowed per tour, so we strongly suggest booking in advance. SALT is able to record distant stars, galaxies and quasars a billion times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye.