The Northern Cape boasts an abundance of award-winning destinations and venues, and this year’s Lilizela Tourism Awards provincial winners are a case in point. In celebration of World Tourism Day, here are the shining stars that have done the Northern Cape tourism industry proud:
The Belurana River Boutique Hotel and the Classic Court B&B and Villa both walked away with Accommodation Service Excellence awards in the Bed & Breakfast subcategory. Known for its peaceful gardens and relaxing atmosphere, the Belurana River Boutique Hotel is set on the banks of the Orange River in Upington, with magnificent views.
Also located in Upington, near the city centre, the charming Classic Court B&B and Villa offers affordable, modern accommodation and attentive service in a tranquil ambience.
The Oleander Guest House in Kimberley was this year’s provincial winner in the Guest House category. Located in the Belgravia suburb and near popular tourist attractions, the newly renovated Victorian heritage house has 10 en-suite bedrooms, a brand-new restaurant, relaxing veranda and landscaped gardens.
The Northern Cape had three winners in the Hotel category. The Kimberley Anne Small Luxury Hotel, Garden Court Kimberley and Road Lodge Kimberley all proved that the Northern Cape can pull out all the stops when it comes to accommodating visitors in luxury.
The opulent Kimberley Anne Small Luxury Hotel in the heart of town offers comfort, style and sheer indulgence. This exclusive destination also boasts internationally trained chefs producing locally inspired dishes in its Copper Oryx Restaurant.
The comfortable Garden Court Kimberley has 135 rooms, ranging from standard rooms to spacious suites. Free Wi-Fi, DStv, room service and more are added extras to make your stay special.
Finally, the Road Lodge Kimberley is the ideal base for fun lovers – it is conveniently located near a number of the town’s attractions, as well as the Flamingo Casino and entertainment centre.
The Northern Cape has a wealth of nature reserves and farms. Two local gems won in the Self-catering subcategory in the Accommodation awards.
The Koekais Guest Farm offers a self-catering guest house built of stone and thatch in keeping with its natural surrounds, but with modern, environmentally friendly amenities including air-conditioning, roof fans, filtered water and DStv.
The Dronfield Nature Reserve just outside Kimberley is known as a birder’s paradise and offers the full game-reserve experience. It is also the site of two historic battlefields. The reserve boasts six chalets that can accommodate either couples or families.
Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre just opposite the Big Hole is a relatively new conference venue in Kimberley, and if the Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events award it won is anything to go by, it has a bright future. The centre can accommodate up to 2 500 delegates and caters for a variety of events, from international conferences to sporting events.
The Big Hole and The Workshop ko Kasi walked away with two awards each in the Visitor Experience category.
The Big Hole, famously the biggest hand-dug excavation hole in the world, won in the Roots & Culture and Experience Mobility subcategories. Tours at this impeccably maintained attraction inform visitors about the history of the South African diamond industry.
The Workshop ko Kasi in Kuruman walked away with the honours in the Culture & Lifestyle subcategory, as well as the Culture Village accolade falling under the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Constructed of recycled and natural materials, The Workshop ko Kasi sanctuary offers an African spa, a township café, cultural tours and events such as pop-up markets and storytelling sessions.
The awards are only the cherry on top – the Northern Cape has many other great experiences and attractions on offer, and local residents are at the heart of its tourism sector.
Two local guides, Kabelo Mothupi and Maruping Kegomoditswe, deserve a special mention for representing exactly what the province's tourism industry is all about: people.