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Northern Cape

 At first glance, the Northern Cape is little more than vast expanse of arid, flat land. Looking closer, it soon becomes apparent that this seemingly desolate area is a diamond in the rough. In the spring, the lifeless landscape is transformed into a colourful carpet of wildflowers and even in the driest season, hardy animals manage to survive in some of the harshest conditions in the world. But treasure hides beneath the land as well. From Kimberley, the first home of diamonds in South Africa to the alluvial mines along the coastline, the Northern Cape is famous for its diamonds. Between the nature reserves, quaint seaside towns and historical remnants, there is more to this province than meets the eye.

Augrabies Falls National Park Diamond Fields
Kgalagadi National Park Namaqualand

Weather

The semi-desert climate of the Northern Cape favours scorching summers and mild winters, but be prepared as the temperatures drop considerably at night in all seasons.

Summer is the rainy season with afternoon thunderstorms pouring down torrential buckets of water on the desert landscape. Temperatures can rise to as high 34° to 40°C in some parts so make sure to pack hats and sun lotion.

Winters are dry. Daytime temperatures are still rather warm but at night the temperature can drop to as low a -6°C in some part of the Northern Cape.

Travelling

Make sure to fill up before long journeys. Towns are far apart in the Northern Cape and it may be some time before you come across another filling station.

Also remember to take along lots of water – especially during the summer. The long road can become very hot during the day putting travellers at risk of dehydration.

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