Secret scenic spots in the Northern Cape October 8th, 2018
Secret scenic spots in the Northern Cape
The Northern Cape is home to many natural delights. Here you will find the Diamond Fields, the Green Kalahari and the ever-popular Namaqualand. However, there are some spots that not many people know about. These are places that offer scenic beauty that is almost untouched, which is exciting for travellers to the Northern Cape looking for something a little different. Below are some of the best secret scenic spots in the Northern Cape.
The stark beauty of Kathu
Kathu is the iron-ore capital of the Northern Cape province. Its name means “town under the trees”, after the Camel Thorn forest it is found in. There are many fun things to do in Kathu, such as playing golf in one of the most beautiful golf estates in the country, exploring the Green Kalahari and wine tasting at Orange River Cellars, one of the many Kathu restaurants.
Kathu is a small mining town and the scenery is at once both desolate and beautiful. It is close to many natural attractions such as the Wonderwerk Cave, an archaeological dig site in the Kuruman HIlls, Boesmansgat Sinkhole, a 270 metre deep sinkhole, and the fascinating Morokweng Crater. While the town might not be as “secret” as some secret scenery on this list, it is certainly a stunning small town to visit while travelling the Northern Cape.
The sea-swept scenery of Hondeklipbaai
Hondeklipbaai has managed to avoid too much commercialisation, which has allowed the scenery to remain “bare bones” and untouched by too many developments. It is one of South Africa’s “forgotten villages”, with 14 km of gorgeous shoreline dotted with tidal and rock pools.
It is a small fishing village which offers unbeaten sea views, as well as unique attractions. Some of these attractions include a visit to the Aristea Shipwreck, taking a walk to the Hondeklip Lighthouse, going crayfish diving and taking a tour to Kamieskroon, Skilpad and Soebatsfontein. Hondeklipbaai also offers gorgeous scenery during the flowering months of the Northern Cape, making for a unique seaside retreat for nature lovers.
The natural majesty of the Augrabies Falls National Park
The Augrabies Falls National Park is home to the majestic Aukoerebis waterfall, so named by the Khoi and meaning “the great noise”. In the Park there are several hiking trails for nature lovers to enjoy, as well as unique viewing areas such as Moon Rock, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the falls.
It is a fantastic park for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. You will find quiver trees, black eagles and adorable rock hyraxes (or “dassies”) in the park and you can spend time relaxing in the nearby Riemvasmaak Hot Springs. These springs will allow you to rest your weary body after a day of hiking and sightseeing. It is the rugged beauty of the Northern Cape that makes this park so unique, so be sure to bring along your camera to capture every moment.
The bountiful bookshops of Richmond
Richmond is what one could call a “book town”, because it has an abundance of bookstores, residents who are knowledgeable about books and has a culture that is built around these bookstores. You will find this quaint little town between Cape Town and Johannesburg, making it the perfect stop-off on any road trip.
The architecture you will find is both classically Victorian and traditional “Karoo” style housing. The scenery is unbeaten, with Karoo landscapes and gorgeous farmland as far as the eye can see. There are several unique and quirky village stores to browse through as well as the option to have drives through the Great Karoo that is close by. Richmond is the perfect place for bookworms to stop off in on a journey or for families to spend time experiencing the arid landscape of the Karoo.
The scenic beauty of Kuruman
The town of Kuruman is also known as the “Oasis of the Kalahari”. This is because it has a permanent supply of water from a spring that delivers 20 million litres of of water to surrounding towns.
One of the most popular attractions of Kuruman is the Eye of Kuruman, a natural spring in the heart of the town. It is this spring that produces all of the water in the stunning village. Here you will also find the Moffat Mission, the house where Robert and Mary Moffat lived in the 1820s. Moffat was a Scottish missionary and the first person to translate the Bible into Setswana. It is a unique historical site that any history buff will enjoy visiting. Kuruman provides a delight for the senses and for the culturally-inclined.
Soak up the scenery
The Northern Cape provides a plethora of natural beauty, as well as many things to do in Kathu, Kuruman and Hondeklipbaai. It is the perfect province for people who enjoy thinking out of the box and taking part in activities that are exciting and different. You could spend hours browsing the bookstores of Richmond or soaking up the warmth in the hot springs of Riemvasmaak. Wherever you choose to go, you are sure to find something fun, exciting and creative to do.