10 Tips when Traveling to the Northern Cape

Making plans to travel to the harsh and unforgiving landscape known as the Northern Cape? Well, it’s the perfect destination to add to your travel list.

The Northern Cape hugs the northerly reaches of South Africa up against the borders of Namibia and Botswana. Whilst most of the traffic confines itself to the N1, N12, and N7, there are many back routes linking towns through heart-stopping scenery like Pella.

It’s a province that’s blazing in the summer, scattered along a large semi-desert landscape with fascinating wildlife reserves.

Let’s not forget springtime flowers, red sand dunes and, wonderful citizens; you bound to make a return visit once you’ve experienced the province yourself.

Here are a few tips to remember when traveling to the Northern Cape:

  1. Make sure that your vehicle is roadworthy for these long drives between towns. There’s nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
  2. Many of the roads like the N10 and N8 is ill-maintained and filled with potholes.
  3. Be aware that wild animals do cross the road without warning. Just be vigilant while driving.
  4. The Northern Cape is a province with vast expanses of space; meaning that the towns are about 3-6 hours apart.
  5. The Northern Cape is known as the sun for all seasons. However, there are some towns that are extremely cold during winter (April to September) like Williston and Sutherland.
  6. If you coming from Cape Town, note that the air is dry. Your nose and mouth will be sore and cracked from the desert and semi-desert areas.
  7. Fuel is expensive if you don’t live inland so be prepared to pay more on fuel than what you use too.
  8. Fill up whenever you can. The next petrol station might only be two hours away.
  9. Visit small towns you never heard of before like Melkboom, Breeshoek, Aggeneys, Rooiputs, and Hotazel. They might just surprise you.
  10. Don’t be shy to ask locals for help. They are always eager to assist if you find yourself lost.

Many forms of Transportation

The Northern Cape is buried in amongst rocky landscapes, little towns, byways, and gravel roads so it’s best to make use of your own vehicle and do a road trip. If not, here’s a few possible transportation options:

Air Travel – You can take a flight to both Kimberley and Upington International with SA Airlink.

Railway – There are two Shosholoza Meyl routes; one to Kimberley and one to De Aar.

Car Hire Service – This is the most used option because you can design your own road trip. There are many options for car hiring at Kimberley Airport.

People head to the Northern Cape to disappear; to recharge, reconnect and reclaim one’s sense of self, the Northern Cape’s isolation and beauty are hard to beat.

Until the next adventure.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog