Northern Cape, stretching across the vast plains of the Karoo,
is a sparsely populated province still relatively unspoiled
by man. The Karoo, meaning 'land of great thirst' in the Hottentot
language, blazes in the summer heat yet its starkness and
silence are breathtakingly beautiful.
areas of the province, including Namaqualand, enjoy rainfall
in the spring months resulting in explosive displays of bright,
wild flowers from July to November. In the East summer thunderstorms
roll across the skies, bringing flashes of lightning and booming
across the plains before fading swiftly away.
the reviving waters of the Orange River, lush crops of cotton,
Lucerne and dates abound and the town of Upington rests amongst
vineyards of sultana grapes.
the most famous town is the town of Kimberley. Here in the
early 1800's the world's greatest diamond rush began when
a child picked up a 21-carat stone. Historical buildings and
museums abound in the town and the Kimberley Big Hole is the
largest man-made hole on earth.
On the border of the Northern province and Botswana where
the red dunes and scrub fade into infinity lies the Kgalagadi
Transfontier Park. Herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland and
blue wildebeest follow the seasons and camel thorn trees provide
shade for huge black-mane lions and vantage points for leopards.Together
with the adjacent Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, this
park comprises an area of over 3,6 million hectares
one of few conservation areas of this magnitude left in the
world. The sparse vegetation and the dry riverbeds of the
Nossob and Auob provide excellent photographic opportunities
and the park is also a favourite for birders interested in
birds of prey.