Northern Cape - South Africa

The Northern Cape is South Africa's least populous province but still accounts for close to a third of the country's area. The Northern Cape is a wild, untamed region where nature still rules; the geographic remoteness and harsh, dry climate have hindered (thankfully) human settlement of the land. The result is vast tracks of pristine wilderness where hardy flora and fauna have enjoyed a little peace and quiet, apart from the occasional intrepid soul.  

Northern Cape - Augrabies Falls People might have stayed away altogether were it not for the large quantities of diamond-bearing rock discovered first in the fields of Kimberley (on the eastern side of the province, now known as the Diamantveld) and later in alluvial deposits at the mouth of the Orange River on the Atlantic seaboard.

The province's sparse population and wild terrain, not to mention the characters attracted to its mines, once gave it a reputation for lawlessness reminiscent of the American Wild West. Bandits like Scotty Smith often led the lawmen of the Northern Cape on merry chases. From these humble origins, Kimberley, with its diamond wealth, transformed its a reputation to become one of South Africa's more innovative and genteel cities. Today, the Northern Cape offers a rare opportunity for visitors to commune with nature on its own terms---in the overwhelmingly colorful fields of Namaqualand or in the expanse of Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. If hiking is your forte, don't miss the sensational trails of Augrabies National Park.

Northern Cape Links

The Weather in Northern Cape

The Northern Cape 's weather is typical of desert and semi-desert areas. This is a large, dry region of fluctuating temperatures and varying topographies. The scant annual rainfall ot the Northern Cape (50-400mm) is unreliable and very much lower than evaporation and, in January, afternoon temperatures are usually between 33-40 Celsius.

In 1939, at Goodhouse on the Orange River, an all-time high of 47.8 Celsius was recorded! Though somewhat unusual, summer temperatures do sometimes top the 40 Celsius mark. Winter days are warm - the onset of night bringing dew and frost to supplement the low rainfall. Sutherland, in the Hantam Karoo, is one of the coldest towns in southern Africa. Northern Cape - Kimberly big hole Its average minimum is -6 Celsius! In winter, snow often blankets its surrounding mountains. In general, though, take it that you'll enjoy hot summer days, warm company and chilly nights.

Accommodation in the Northern Cape

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