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DESTINATION:NORTHERN CAPE

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For those seeking culture, nature and adventure experiences, the Province also boasts five routes which can offer a glimpse into the Northern Cape’s diverse tourism offerings

WITH the festive season upon us, the Northern Cape Tourism Authority has started its Summer Campaign, aimed at encouraging visitors and travellers to spend a day or more in the Province and experience several offerings that await visitors.

Travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town or vice versa, the Northern Cape roads are well maintained and travellers can take their time and reach their destination without being in a rush, either travelling via the N12, N1, N14, N7 and R63 roads.

The Province offers great accommodation establishments from all five regions, friendly people with a rich culture, historical monuments, delicious local food, beautiful scenery and open landscapes every traveller should experience.

For those seeking culture, nature and adventure experiences, the Province also boasts five routes which can offer a glimpse into the Northern Cape’s diverse tourism offerings.

Kokerboom Food and Wine Route

Named after the indigenous quiver tree, the Quiver Tree Food and Wine Route stretches along the mighty Orange River. It features the quaint towns of Upington, Kakamas, Keimoes, Augrabies, Marchand, Kanoneiland, Kenhardt and Riemvasmaak.

The route will appeal greatly to families, adventure and adrenaline seekers.

Highlights include the world’s sixth largest waterfall, Augrabies Falls, Riemvasmaak hot springs, river rafting, fly fishing, kayaking, river cruises, 4×4, hiking and MTB trails and excellent bird watching.

Foodies can enjoy typical Northern Cape fare produced at coffee shops, road stalls and restaurants as well as wine taste at cellars along the route.

Accommodation ranges from luxurious guest houses to farm and community stay-overs.

Kalahari Red Dune Route

Discover the essence of the Province in the heart of the Kalahari. Golden dunes, wide-open skies and flat-topped acacia trees epitomise the Kalahari Red Dune Route. Stretching from Upington right to the Namibian border, visitors traverse the villages of Ashkam, Groot and Klein Mier and Rietfontein.

Adventure-loving families and adrenaline seekers can enjoy dune hikes at dawn, eagle-owl encounters, sand duning and surfing in the red sand and close encounters with meerkats.

Be sure to visit the newest world heritage site, Khomani Cultural Landscape Heritage Site for guided walks with the Khomani San (Bushmen) to rediscover the wisdom, customs and folklore of this ancient tribe.

Richtersveld Route

The Richtersveld is South Africa’s only mountain desert and the route travels along rugged gravel roads to quaint towns such as Eksteensfontein, Sendelingsdrift, Lekkersing, Kuboes and Sandrift.

The Orange River presents a more leisurely pace with river rafting and the best wilderness fly-fishing in South Africa, while the entire Richtersveld is a mountain biker’s dream.

Follow in the footsteps of a traditional goat herder in the Richtersveld World Heritage Site and learn about the lives of the Nama nomads. In the villages, the locals will entertain guests with storytelling and traditional Nama step dancing upon request.

Springtime is also an excellent time to visit and see the desert being transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour.

Namaqua Coastal Route

The route includes hidden gems like Garies, Kamieskroon, Hondeklip Bay, Koiingnaas and Kleinzee. Dozens of adventure and leisure options are available, Namaqua National Park, nature reserves, hidden coastal hamlets, some of the most remote hiking and 4×4 trails imaginable

The coastal route holds a rugged beauty and mystique that is one of a kind. Coupled with cultural diversity, rich diamond mining history and flora and fauna typical of the Succulent Karoo Biome for an unforgettable experience.

Breath-taking scenes of the Atlantic Ocean with sightings of dolphins and whales combined with great vistas of mountains and veld with endemic wildlife and of course the floral splendour during August and September makes travelling in this area remarkable.

Karoo Highlands Route

This route features the small Karoo towns of Nieuwoudtville, Calvinia, Williston, Sutherland, Fraserburg, Carnarvon, Loxton and Victoria West – the heart of the Great Karoo. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Karoo with its wide open plains. The area was named by the Khoi and San people, who left their legacy as art on the rocks.

Explore many unique experiences such as stargazing at the world’s largest astronomical observatory at Sutherland, the SKA radio telescopes in Carnarvon, Karoo architecture and corbelled houses, Anglo-Boer War sites, rock art, ancient Palaeo Surfaces, farm stays and great Karoo cuisine and hospitality.

The Cape Namibia Route

The route meanders away from the N7 and includes small towns, each with its own local flavour and a story to tell. The N7 highway stretches from Cape Town all the way through the Northern Cape before heading into Namibia.

Crossing from the Western Cape into the Northern Cape, visitors will encounter towns which capture the Nama heritage of the Province. Slow down and appreciate the unique stories of the people of Garies, Kamieskroon, Springbok, Okiep, Nababeep, Carolusberg, Steinkopf and Vioolsdrift.

During springtime, this route takes visitors into the core of the floral kaleidoscope that is the Namaqua flower season.