The summer holidays are finally here and for most of South African families this is the one holiday which allows time for reconnecting and enjoying timespent together.
Why not start your holiday the moment you depart and enjoy a leisurely drive through the Northern Cape en-route to your end destination. Linger a little longer and enjoy the abundance of activities and attractions located just off the major routes. If you have a little more time explore some of the hidden travel gems of this amazing province and stay over for a night or two.
The Northern Cape Welcomes Summer campaign starts on Friday, 12 Decemberin partnership with the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, Frances BaardDistrict Municipality, the UmsombuvuLocal Municipality in Colesberg and the provincial Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison. Tourism teams will welcome all motorists and visitors to the Northern Cape with a goodie bag with water, information guides and a warm friendly smile.
Key points include the Big Hole information centre in the capital city of Kimberley, the Caltex Filling Station on the N12 to/from Cape Town and the Shell Ultra City next to the N12 to/from Johannesburg. Along the N1 in Colesberg, activations will be staged at the Engen and Shell garages.
Discover Diamond Country as you travel along the N12 in the Diamond Fields region of the Northern Cape. The capital of Kimberley is a bustling city with loads of riveting tourism attractions including the Big Hole and the Kimberley Museums. Wildlife enthusiasts can visit Dronfield Nature Reserve and Mokala National Park.
Traveling along the R63 will take visitors through the heart of the Hantam in the Karoo region with towns like Nieuwoudtville and Calvinia awaiting eager explorers. Must-see attractions include the Hantam National Botanical Garden, the spectacular Nieuwoudtville Falls and the Oorlogskloof Nature Reserves. Fans of astronomy should definitely stop in Carnarvon to see the Square Kilometre Array, the site of the world’s most powerful radio telescope, while a visit to the Williston Mall will undoubtedly revitalise weary travellers.
The N7 highway is the gateway to Namibia, but also offers fascinating stops to explore the essence of the Northern Cape at intriguing towns and villages of the Namakwa region such as Garies, Kamieskroon and Steinkopf and Springbok. From the Namakwa National park to a Nama cultural settlement and Anglo-Boer graves, visitors can easily trace the diverse cultural roots of this part of the Northern Cape.
Gear up for the Green Kalahari region as the N8 reveals the divine contrast of the province with lush green vineyards along the fertile Orange River valley dissect the traditionally arid region. Small towns like Campbell, Griquatown and Groblershoop offer welcome rest stops along the way, while the bustling hub of Upington is perfect for a stay-over with loads of attractions including a sundowner cruise on the river, the Augrabies Falls National Park and the wine tastings at local cellars and wine estates. Upington is also the gateway to the Kalahari region with its incredible natural beauty and rich wildlife.
Visitors heading west along the N14 towards the West Coast will travel from Kuruman in the Kalahari via the mining town of Kathu through Upington and its unique Quiver Tree Food and Wine Route to Springbok in the Namaqua before heading for the blue waters of the Atlantic at quaint seaside towns like Port Nolloth and the Blue Flag beach of McDougal’s Bay.
This summer, the Northern Cape will be abuzz with festivities and events to suit any mood ranging from gospel shows to bikers rallies, cultural and music festivals. Don’t miss the inaugural Big Hole Bikers Rally from 5-7 December in Kimberley, the Namakwa Festival from 4 – 7 December, the Warrenton Festival of music and dance on 12 November, the Kuruman Music Festival from 13-14 December and the annual Richtersveld Lights Festival from 11 – 14 December in Port Nolloth.
For more information on happenings in the Northern Cape Province, visit www.experiencenortherncape.com or phone the local tourism offices:
- Frances Baard Tourism- Tel: +2753 838 0923
- Sol Plaatje Tourism Office- Tel: 2753 832 7298/ +2753 830 6779
- Green Kalahari Tourism- Tel: +2754 337 2800
- Upington Tourism- Tel: +2754 338 7151
- Kalahari Tourism- Tel: +2753 712 8700
- Karoo Tourism- Tel: +2753 632 9100/ +2753 631 4176
- Namakwa Tourism- Tel: +2727 712 8035/6