The Northern Cape province

The Northern Cape or
South Africa’s Green Kalahari

The Northern Cape province is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. It’s my home since April. The province has a very low population. That is obvious everywhere. Hills and bushland dominate the landscape. A huge area of the province is part of the Kalahari desert. While in the wintertime temperatures drop below zero, the summertime is hot up to 40 degrees.

Major cities are rare but small settlements appearing from time to time besides the road. The distances between cities are huge. Kimberly, the capital of the Northern Cape province, is about three hours away by car from Kathu. In the north locating Namibia and Botswana. Both sharing the border with South Africa.

The Kalahari desert which is part of the province also called the green Kalahari. Actually it is a semidesert. The lush green river banks gives an dramatically contrast to the rocky and dusty vast land. The camel thorne tree is typical for the Kalahari.

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

The province is the home of many small game reserves and even more big national parks. Like the Augrabies Waterfalls with the 10 km canyon or the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park shared by South Africa and Namibia. My impression from the Oranje River is a little different from what I learned in school. Even it is the biggest river in South Africa it looks very tiny.

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

The golden hour in Kathu
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Augrabies waterfalls