‘The perfect #Easter holiday destination’

Published Mar 23, 2016


Kimberley - The Northern Cape is being hailed as “the perfect Easter holiday destination” with an array of events and places to explore in South Africa’s “sunniest Province”.

The Province promises to welcome visitors with an abundance of activities, off-the-beaten track towns and hidden gems in “a truly unique destination”.

Visitors are encouraged to embark on a real adventure by taking a “Sho’t Left route” while travelling to their holiday destination this Easter.

Discover the warm heart of the Province by exploring the southern Kalahari scenery, the Richtersveld mountain desert and a rich diamond heritage.

The roots of ancient people like the San-Bushmen, Griqua and Nama make the Province undoubtedly South Africa’s most unusual tourist destination.

The Province is divided into five regions namely the Diamond Fields, Green Kalahari, Kalahari, Karoo and Namaqualand.

Each region will capture the imaginations of those who dare to explore it and its ancient mysteries, from five Provincial Nature Reserves: Doornkloof Nature Reserve, Goegap Nature Reserve, Rolfontein Nature Reserve, Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve and Witsand Nature, to six National Parks: Augrabies Falls National Park, Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Mokala National Park, Namaqua National Park and Tankwa Karoo National Park.

If you’re travelling along the N12 this Easter, stop along the route to trace the rich mining history of the Diamond Fields Region of the Northern Cape.

Visit the Big Hole and Kimberley Museum in the capital city of Kimberley; take a vintage tram ride or explore some of the museums and art galleries.

For exciting wildlife adventures, don’t miss the Dronfield Nature Reserve, Mokala National Park or the Lesser Flamingos at Kamfers Dam.

Towns such as Britstown, Victoria West and Three Sisters offer perfect stop-over opportunities to stretch your legs and indulge in various activities, local cuisine and warm Karoo hospitality

From the bulb capital of Nieuwoudtville to Victoria West, the R63 takes travellers through the heart of the Hantam and a region rich in hidden treasures. Must-see attractions include the Hantam National Botanical Garden on the Glenlyn farm with its over 500 000 endemic Bulbinella, the awesome Nieuwoudtville Falls and Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve.

Stop in Calvinia for bird watching at the Akkerendam Nature Reserve, admire the variety of architecture typical to the area or sample authentic, regional dishes at Hantam Kraal restaurant.

The N7 highway stretches from Cape Town and meanders its way through the Northern Cape before heading into neighbouring country Namibia. Crossing from the Western Cape into the Northern Cape, visitors will encounter towns capturing the Nama heritage of the Province in the quaint towns of Garies, Kamieskroon, Springbok and Steinkopf.

Marvel at the botanical diversity of the Namakwa National Park or revisit the rich mining history of Springbok at the oldest smelting furnace in the country. For local arts and craft, stop in Steinkopf at Immanuel Succulent Nursery and the Steinkopf Rondavels.

From Kimberley, head for the divine contrasts of the Green Kalahari region. Small rural towns such as Campbell, Griquatown (Griekwastad) and Groblershoop offer welcome respite en-route to Upington. Cool down at Groblershoop’s Boegoeberg Dam, an oasis for travellers with numerous water sports activities. Continue along the N10 highway, which hugs the winding Orange River towards Upington, the hub of the Green Kalahari.

The N14 takes travellers from Kuruman in the Kalahari to Springbok in the Namaqua region via the mining town of Kathu, the regional commercial hub of Upington and along the Quiver Tree Route. Kuruman is known as the “Oasis of the Kalahari” due to The Eye natural spring. See archaeological excavations at the amazing Wonderwerk Caves.

In Kathu, visitors can stop at the Khai-Appel Recreation Resort or visit the world’s largest open-cast iron mine by appointment. The bustling town of Upington is home to several unique tourist attractions.

Visit the astounding Augrabies Falls National Park, Khamkirri Private Game Reserve and the Riemvasmaak Hotsprings before heading westwards towards the West Coast towns of Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay.

The N1 from Johannesburg to Cape Town takes travellers through the historical town of Colesberg which is named after “Coleskop”, because of the many koppies (hills) in the area. What makes Coleskop, called “Towerberg” or “magic mountain” by early travellers, so special is the curious impression it creates as you travel closer to it – it never seems to near.

Must see attractions include Struggle Route via Mountain in Kuyasa Township, Donkey Cart tour at Karretjie village, Anglican Church – a beautiful decorated church built in 1854 and designed by Sophia Gray (wife of Bishop Gray), the Colesberg Kemper Museum dating back to 1861, including the Kemper collection, Anglo-Boer War photographs and artefacts a 19th century toy collection. Outdoor enthusiasts can visit several hiking and mountain trails in the area.

Doornkloof Nature Reserve is approximately 45km North-west of Colesberg around the confluence of the Zeekoei and Orange Rivers. The Zeekoei River is the largest tributary that enters the Vanderkloof Dam.

De Aar, the third largest town in the Northern Cape, is centrally located on the main railway line between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Namibia. A visit to the solar energy farm 6km outside the town can also be included in the traveller’s itinerary. The project expands over 100 hectares of Emthanjeni Municipality-owned land.

The facility generates electricity using 167 580 solar (PV) panels and feeds the 132kV Eskom distribution system.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also visit Rolfontein Nature Reserve which is situated in Vanderkloof town, and 16km north of Petrusville.

Activities at the nature reserve include picnicking at designated sites. The tent camp caters for a group of a maximum of 40 people, or for individuals.

The dam is rich in fish species, such as the small-mouth and large-mouth yellow fish, catfish and carp.

Angling is permitted in designated areas at the dam and a valid licence is required, which is obtainable from any post office.

Norma Wildenboer, Diamond Fields Advertiser

Related Topics: