NORTHERN CAPE ACCOMMODATION
South Africa must be the only place in the world where one finds the luxury of a western world totally integrated with the splendor of nature.

With the contrasting landscape ranging from a tropical paradise in Kwazulu Natal in the east to the vast desert of the Northern Cape Kalahari in the west, it is indeed a land of splendor.

South Africa is fondly known as the Rainbow Nation because of the diversity of its people, cultures and natural scenery. The South African nation comprises people of San (or Bushman), Nguni, Sotho-Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Indian, Afrikaner and mixed origin, as well as immigrant communities from all corners of the world. Officially the population consists of more than 42 million people.

South Africa's peaceful transition to a democracy in 1994 is regarded as a miracle in world history. The country's third democratic election successfully took place on 14 April 2004 and on 27 April 2004 Mr. Thabo Mbeki was inaugurated for his second term as State President, succeeding President Nelson Mandela. Although the democracy is now firmly established, South Africa is still a country in transition. A weak economy and unacceptable crime rate are some of the issues which President Mbeki undertook to eradicate.

South Africa is divided into 9 provinces and the Northern Cape Province is the largest of all the provinces in South Africa, but has the lowest population with less than a million inhabitants. The population in the Northern Cape is a mixture representing all cultural groups and the Northern Cape is the traditional home of the Khoi-San people with the rich cultures of The San (Bushman), the Nama, the Koranna, the Cape Khoi, the Khwe, the !Xun, the Attaqua Khoi-San and the Griqua. The first people of the Northern Cape were the San. The San lived freely in the area until the arrival of the Europeans and other African tribes. The last remaining true San (Bushman) people live in a desert area known as the Kalahari.

The Northern Cape is fast developing into a tourist mecca because of its vast open spaces, contrasting landscape and friendly people.

The whole area along the Orange and Vaal rivers is rich in San rock engravings. The province is also rich in fossils.

The Northern Cape is well known for its wide-open spaces, a very beautiful coastline and a number of national parks that is truely unique and is offering the tourist a very different and lasting experience of the South African landscape. The Northern Cape Province has a very colourful history dating back to many years before the arrival of Jan Van Riebeek in the Cape. The Northern Cape Province has a colourful history and offers a variety of cultural tourist attractions, especially the well-known annual breathtaking floral display of the Namaqualand.

The Northern Cape is mostly desert and semi-desert with the mighty Orange River bisecting it, creating the rich fertile valley of the lower Orange region known as the Green Kalahari. Most of the landscape is a vast arid plain with outcroppings of haphazard rock piles, known as “koppies”. The cold Atlantic Ocean forms the western boundary and the Northern Cape is one of only 4 coastal provinces. The Northern Cape is the largest of all the provinces, but has the smallest population.

Mining has always defined the history in this part of the world and diamonds, copper and asbestos were some of the raw material exported from this area. The discovery of diamonds in Kimberley resulted in an unprecedented growth in the province under the leadership of men such as Barney Barnato and Cecil John Rhodes.  In 1899, the Northern Cape Province was the scene of the Anglo-Boer War, where Kimberley was one of the first towns to be besieged by the Boers.

The Northern Cape largely is a semi-arid region with little rainfall in summer, apart from a narrow strip of winter-rainfall area along the coast, in the areas of the Namaqualand. The weather conditions are extreme cold and frosty in winter and extremely hot in summer, with temperatures often reaching the low forties.

Sutherland, in the Hantam area near Calvinia, is one of the coldest towns in Southern Africa with an average winter minimum is -6º Celsius.  In winter, snow often covers its surrounding mountains. The clear fresh air in the area has resulted in the successful building of the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere in Sutherland.
The Northern Cape Tourism Authority launched their newly developed brand at the Hilton Hotel Restaurant during Indaba 2006 on Sunday 7th May at 18h30. The Northern Cape Government, in its efforts to grow tourism identified the need to develop a White Paper to effect the above. The need to develop a new tourism brand for the province was evident.
Northern Cape landscape
The Springbok is the national animal of South Africa
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The Green Kalahari.
Green Kalahari - where the arid zone comes alive, thanks to the vast Orange River that flows through this part of the Northern Cape. To the south, the river forms a natural boundary and to the north the landscape includes waves of dunes called streets that offer fabulous game viewing. Upington lies on the northern banks of the Orange River and is the Green Kalahari’s main town. It has the longest palm avenue in the southern hemisphere and is surrounded by plentiful vineyards that makes up more than 10% of the country’s total that produce great wines. Oranges, Lucerne, and cotton are also grown in the area.
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This page was last updated: May 7, 2014
REGIONS OF THE NORTHERN CAPE:

The Northern Cape has five regions:

* THE DIAMOND FIELD REGION – the eastern part of the province with Kimberley as the capital

* THE GREEN KALAHARI REGION – the north-western valley along the Orange River and with Upington as the economic centre

* THE KALAHARI REGION – formed by the lunar landscapes in the northeast around Kuruman

* THE KAROO REGION – forming the southern part of the province and recognised as the ancient home of the San people, rich in rock art paintings

* THE NAMAQUA REGION – formed by the western part of the province and characterised by a harsh landscape that includes the Richtersveld and comes alive with flowers after the winter rains. It borders on the Atlantic ocean and Namibia and has Springbok as administrative centre.
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THE GREEN KALAHARI

South Africa has many faces, yet none as unlikely and contrasting as the Northern Cape, a face characterized by clear, cobalt blue skies, red sand dunes and green vineyards along the mighty Orange River, once known as the Great Gariep River. Such a place is the Green Kalahari region. It is a living desert, yet easily accessible by well-maintained tarred roads and an affordable tourist destination that hold many pleasant surprises to the unsuspecting visitor, offerings a feast for the senses, with the vibrant town of Upington as the gateway to this land of contrasts.

The town of Upington is the second largest town in the Northern Cape Province and it is the capital of the Green Kalahari region. From Upington you can visit anything site or town, ranging from a raisin-making factory to a catfish farm, from lush green vineyards and wine cellars to tearooms in the Kalahari Desert, from a luxurious lodge outside Groblershoop to the remains of a Bushman settlement in Verneukpan near Kenhardt.

If that is not enough, how about experiencing the thunderous roar of the Augrabies Waterfall or the challenge of the Kalahari and Riemvasmaak 4x4 trails.
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