What places to visit on a road trip to the Northern Cape

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Northern CapeNorthern Cape

What places to visit on a road trip to the Northern Cape

South Africans are surrounded by an abundance of beauty. If you’re thinking about taking a road trip up North, then the Northern Cape offers many adventures. Be it for rock climbing purposes, watersport activities or simply to just relax in nature, you can expect a little something for everyone.

The Northern Cape consists of many popular towns like Kuruman, Upington, Colesberg, Springbok, Kakamas, Calvinia and Kimberley, each with their own unique attractions. On a road trip up, one of the most exciting things is that you get to stop off at locations along the way. From Johannesburg, the N14 connects with Springbok, providing visitors with an excellent cross-section into the Northern Cape. On your drive, you can expect to encounter breathtaking landscapes of open grasslands, as well as green, lush vineyards due to the luxury of water in and around these beautiful towns.

Here are a few places to visit on your road trip:

  • Kimberley: The popular ‘Diamond City’ offers visitors a variety of different attractions to suit each personality. Whether you’re interested in the arts and cultural history of Kimberley or you enjoy finding new foodie destinations, this town is a popular tourist attraction. The Big Hole is a world-renowned attraction because it’s the world’s biggest hand-dug hole in the word. With a perimeter of 1.6 km, you’ll be absolutely amazed by the visuals in person. There are also guided tours around Kimberly, where your tour guide will advise you on the best establishments to visit.


  • Upington: Situated along the banks of the Orange River, close to the impressive Augrabies Falls and KgalagadiTransfrontier Park, this is one of South Africa’s longest rivers. This culture-rich location offers water enthusiasts and adventure travellers some unique attractions. Many people also refer to Upington as the Green Kalahari because it’s known for its wine market. If you’re a wine lover, then Upington’s vineyard valley is a must-see.


  • Springbok: If you interested in viewing gorgeous fields of daisies, all-year-round, the fields in Springbok’s nature reserves will offer you a wonderful sightseeing experience. The town is very small, so they rely heavily on tourism over the busier seasons. There are many quaint places to stop off for a meal or something to drink, so be sure to detour through Springbok.


  • Calvinia: This Karoo town sits between Cape Town and Upington, and is well-known for its tranquil setting. In Calvinia, you can expect various places to relax and unwind in nature, and the options on where to stay in Calvinia are endless. From luxurious hotel accomodation to bed and breakfasts and farm stays, you’ll find the perfect spot for your much-needed pitstop. If you are able to spend more time in the town, you can set foot on their two popular hiking trails at the Akkerendam Nature Reserve or settle down for some flower and bird watching. This town is famous for their sheep farming, so you can expect to learn a lot about their agricultural market.


  • Tankwa Karoo: The popular annual outdoor music and arts festival ‘AfrikaBurn’ is held at the Tankwa Karoo in the Northern Cape. This peaceful landscape is ideal for creative experiences like this because it’s the perfect chance to let go and unwind in a completely new environment. At this festival, nothing is for sale. You will need to come equipped with a variety of different of costumes, trading items and enthusiasm to dance the night away. If you don’t plan on attending the festival and rather want something secluded, you will be able to stay over at the Tankwa Karoo National Park’s chalets to enjoy their picturesque landscapes and animal life.


  • Sutherland: On a trip to the Northern Cape, you cannot miss Sutherland. It’s the place you’ve always heard about: where you can play in the snow and stargaze for hours in the beautiful Sutherland village. This unreal setting is a must-visit and it doesn’t take much imagination to feel like you can reach up and touch the heavens above you. Apart from its dramatic landscapes and starlit nights, there are plenty of restaurants to experience, lodges to stay at, people to meet and historic offerings to see. This town offers many educational opportunities for you and your family.


Final words

Road tripping through South Africa is a unique, close-to-home experience that will leave you breathless. As you drive through the different towns, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the mesmerising outdoor attractions, each with their own story. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of your everyday life in the big city, the Northern Cape is a holiday experience that offers so much more than just relaxation. Because of the quiet, calming feel these small towns offer, a trip to the Northern Cape is a great opportunity for you to reconnect with those closest to you in the most incredible environments.

Northern Cape