Stargazing, exploring shipwrecks, kayaking on the Orange River, fossil hunting, game drives and 4x4ing in the Kalahari – these are just some of the fun, affordable family-friendly activities the Northern Cape has on offer.
Stargazing, exploring shipwrecks, kayaking on the Orange River, fossil hunting, game drives and 4x4ing in the Kalahari – these are just some of the fun, affordable family-friendly activities the Northern Cape has on offer.If you’re looking for a destination that everyone in the family will love, look no further than the Northern Cape. This province is home to exciting destinations and year-round, fun experiences that the whole family will enjoy. Here are six reasons why you should head to the Northern Cape for your next family holiday.
1. A family road trip
Load the kids and grandparents in the car and explore the region along one of the eight Northern Cape Routes. From vibrant township experiences and exploring quaint towns to fishing, canoeing, glamping, camping, slow-packing hikes or simply enjoying the scenic views along the way – your family will be spoilt for choice while travelling along one of these routes.
Quiver Tree Route:
2. Finding dinosaurs and fossils
If you have kids, you must take them fossil hunting in Fraserburg. Visit Gansfontein Farm to see the 190-million-year-old footprints of a Bradysaurus, as well as other ancient markings, such as water ripples, worm trials and signs of fish marks.
3. Edu-tainment for young and old
There are various historical and speciality museums in the province that will teach your kids (and you) about the region’s colourful history. The McGregor Museum is world-class and features the siege of Kimberley and the natural history of the Northern Cape. The Calvinia, Port Nolloth and Springbok museums showcase the unique cultures of the area and the history of diamonds. Stop in Richmond for a quick visit to The Horse Museum. For something more unusual, The Fred Turner Museum in Loeriesfontein has a 100-plus windpump collection, as well as Africana memorabilia. And then there is The Big Hole and its museum, another must-see, in Kimberley. While you’re there, go on the ghost tour to learn more about the spirits that haunt the province’s capital.
4. Starry, starry nights
As a stargazing destination, the Northern Cape is unsurpassed. Throughout the province, the night sky comes alive in a dazzling display. Top sights include Sutherland (a visit to the South African Large Telescope, known as SALT, and the planetarium is an absolute must), the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the International Dark Sky Sanctuary at !Xaus Lodge and the Tankwa Karoo National Park.
5. Head outdoors
Outdoorsy families have a variety of experiences to choose from. If you’re travelling along the Quiver Tree Route, which follows the mighty Orange River, join one of the several river operators for a half- or multiday river rafting adventure, or swim in the Riemvasmaak Hot Springs. The Richterveld Route offers 4x4 adventures, hiking and biking. Hike one of the Karoo Caminos or go horse riding on the Karoo Highlands Route. Discover the legends of the doomed voyages on a shipwreck tour or slack packing hike on the Diamond Coastal Route. The Kalahari Dune Route has sandboarding on gigantic dunes (perfect of the adventure-loving family), donkey cart riding and campfire storytelling.
6. Natural beauty
Experience the regions natural splendour by visiting one of its nature reserves. The province is home to six national parks, five provincial reserves and numerous private game reserves. A game drive, especially at night, is a bucket-list experience. Top destinations include the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the Augrabies Falls National Park, the Mokala National Park and the Witsand Nature Reserve (home of the roaring Kalahari sands). Visit the Namaqualand region during flower season to experience a colour explosion.
Augrabies Falls National Park:
For more information, visit experiencenortherncape.com.