Experience the Northern Cape, South Africa

It’s not just the plains that stretch as far as the eye can see and its rich heritage that give the province of extremes its allure. We’ve rounded up some establishments that will give you a Northern Cape experience second to none.

!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park consists of a central section with a reception, lounge and dining area, and 12 chalets. The location of the lodge (pronounced “kaus”) gives guests an unrivalled desert experience. The park is an unspoilt expanse of wilderness, straddling South Africa and Botswana and covering a colossal 3.8-million hectares, making it one of the largest conservation areas in the world.

The word !Xaus means heart and refers to a huge heart-shaped saltpan that guests can view from each of the chalets’ individual decks. In addition to exploring the natural splendour, guests can also learn about the heritage and traditions of the local Khomani San and Mier communities while exploring the recreated cultural village nearby.

(Image: !Xaus Lodge)
Heart of the desert.

Tankwa Padstal

You’ll find this gem along the R355 en route to Calvinia or the Tankwa Karoo National Park. The Tankwa Padstal is a farm stall, restaurant and pub, all in one.

As one patron put it, here you can buy “anything from Chinese toys to long-life milk”. The farm stall is a popular refreshment station for AfrikaBurn festival-goers who gather annually in the Tankwa Karoo, local patrons and visitors who need a meal, drink or airtime.

(Image: Tankwa Padstal)
Your one-stop shop.

Orange River Cellars

If you’re a wine lover, a trip to the Green Kalahari would be incomplete without a stopover at Orange River Cellars in Upington. The in-house wine tasting centre will introduce you to the complete range of the cellar’s award-winning wines.

The tasting centre has two cylindrical counters, each staffed by a knowledgeable consultant, and an outdoor area, perfect for relaxing in the tranquil surrounds. Snacks from the region are also available, and there’s a kids’ play area to keep the little ones busy.

(Image: Orange River Cellars)