Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province and a must-see destination, whether you prefer the ocean, the desert, the bush or quirky towns rich in history and culture. The Cape to Namibia Route stretches along the N7 through the Northern Cape province before meandering away from the national road to include various small towns, each with its own local flavour and a story to tell. The N7 highway stretches from Cape Town all the way through the Northern Cape to neighbouring country Namibia.

Crossing from the Western Cape into the Northern Cape, visitors will encounter towns that capture the Nama heritage of the province. Slow down and appreciate the unique stories of the people of Garies, Kamieskroon. Springbok and Okjep to mention just a few. During spring, this route takes visitors into the heart of the floral kaleidoscope that is the Namaqua flower season.

Have you ever yearned for a space so vast that the horizon continues into the future? Or to see the stars so clearly you feel that you touch them? The Karoo Highlands Route is where you can experience such uniqueness. The area is renowned for the hospitality of its farming community.

Whether you’ll be admiring the inimitability of the corbelled houses or looking back in time at the Gansfontein palaeo-surface, your heart will surely be touched by this region as never before. The Karoo Highlands Route is situated in the southern part of the Northern Cape. The route covers the small Karoo towns of Nieuwoudtville, Calvinia, Williston, Sutherland, Fraserburg, Carnarvon, Loxton and Victoria West, and forms the heart of the Great Karoo.

The Karoo is the home of peace and tranquillity where you can recharge your batteries while exploring the wide open plains dotted with koppies (hills). This is a place where a huge telescope allows you to look back to the beginnings of our universe 13-billion years ago, and where pre-dinosaurs roamed the Earth and the first people gazed up to the heavens. People have lived on this massive plateau, the largest of its kind outside Asia, for about 500 000 years. The Khoi and San people who left their legacy as art on the rocks gave the Karoo its name.

The area’s name comes from “karusa”, a Khoi word that means dry, barren, thirstland. This aptly describes this region, where water is scarce. It is an ancient, fossil-rich land, with some important archaeological sites, as well as the largest variety of succulents found anywhere on Earth: there are more than 9 000 plant species in the Great Karoo.

The route offers plenty of interesting attractions, such as Karoo architecture and corbelled houses; Anglo-Boer War sites; rock art; ancient palaeo-surfaces; farm stays; and medicinal plants.