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The Northern Cape province

Bushland in the Northern Cape

The Northern Cape province is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. The province has a very low population. Hills and bushland dominate the landscape. Additionally, a huge area of the province is part of the Kalahari desert. While in the wintertime temperatures drop below zero, the summertime is hot. In fact, temperatures up to 40 degrees are possible.

Major cities are very rare. Small settlements appear from time to time besides the road. The distances between cities are huge. Kimberly is the capital of the Northern Cape province. That is about three hours by car from Kathu. In the north located Namibia and Botswana. Both share a long border with South Africa.

The Kalahari desert is a part of the province also called the green Kalahari. Actually, it’s a semidesert. The lush green river banks give a dramatic contrast to the rocky and dusty vast land. The camel thorn tree is typical for the Kalahari.

Iron ore, diamonds, and other mineral mining are some of the main economies in the Northern Cape. Kimberley is the diamond capital and is famous for the Big Hole. However, farming is another big business. Even grapes growing here. Also, there are some wineries around Upington. Tourism is a very important business.

The province is the home of many small game reserves. Moreover, even big national parks are here. For instance, the Augrabies Waterfalls with the 10 km canyon. Or the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park shared by South Africa and Namibia. My impression of the Oranje River is a little different from what I’ve learned in school. Even though it’s the biggest river in South Africa, it looks very tiny.

Anyway, the Northern Cape has endless straightaway roads with a lot of space around. That reminds me of my time in the Midwest of the US.