Northern Cape

Overview

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The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province, taking up almost a third of the country’s total land area. However, the province is sparsely populated with only 1,1 million people on 361 830 km2 of land.

Afrikaans is spoken by about 68% of the people, while Setswana, isiXhosa and English are also widely spoken.

The last remaining true San (Bushman) people live in the Kalahari area, mainly along the Orange and Vaal rivers. Many fossils and San rock engravings have been found here, some of which are displayed at the McGregor Museum in Kimberley.

The Northern Cape lies to the south of its most important asset, the mighty Orange River, which provides the basis for a healthy agricultural industry.

The Northern Cape borders the Atlantic Ocean in the west, and Namibia and Botswana to the north-west and north respectively. It is fringed by the Swartberg mountain range on its southern border.

With two major airports at Kimberley and Upington, and an excellent road network, the province’s interior is easily accessible from South Africa’s major cities, harbours and airports.

Sutherland is host to the southern hemisphere’s largest astronomical observatory, the multinational-sponsored Southern African Large Telescope.

In May 2012, the Northern Cape was chosen as one of two sites to host the Square Kilometer Array radio-telescope (better known as the SKA Project). Developed by scientists from 17 countries, it will be the largest and most advanced radio telescope in the world. Among many other benefits, the province’s tourism and hospitality industry is benefiting from the project, as scientists and other interested par- ties, are flooding into the town of Carnarvon.

The province has several national parks and conservation areas, namely the:

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Ai-Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Park

Augrabies Falls National Park.

The largest part of the province falls within the Nama-Karoo Biome. The area is known worldwide for its spectacular annual explosion of spring flowers, which attract thousands of tourists. This biome contains a number of fascinating plants, including the elephant’s trunk (“halfmens” or half-man), tree aloe (“kokerboom” or quiver tree) and a variety of succulents.

Statistics

 

Capital Kimberley
Principal languages Setswana 33,1%
Afrikaans 53,8%
Population 1 162 900
Share of total population 2,2%
Area (km2) 372 889
Percentage of total area 30,5%

Info Box

Info
Characterised by its vast expanses of space and silence, a warm sunny climate, friendly people and hospitality, the Northern Cape is a province with a rich cultural heritage and a fascinating variety of landscapes.

 

Geography

History

City’s and Towns

Fauna and Flora

Tourist Attractions

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