The most interesting small towns of the Northern Cape

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The most interesting small towns of the Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is more than just home to the Big Hole. It is home to a wide variety of diverse small towns, such as Kathu, Sutherland and Loeriesfontein. These towns have interesting histories and colourful cultures which make them the perfect places to visit if you are driving through the Northern Cape.

If you are staying in Kathu, you will be able to easily visit one or more of these small towns and spend the day exploring and sightseeing. Interested in seeing more of what the Northern Cape has to offer? Read on for information on the most interesting small towns of the Northern Cape.



Kathu is the iron ore capital of the Northern Cape and its name means “town under the thorns”, after the numerous camel thorn trees found in the area. It lies in the middle of the Kalahari Desert and has an arid beauty that many find peaceful and inviting.

You will find one of the country’s most beautiful golf courses in Kathu, the Sishen Golf Club. This golf club is home to the annual Kalahari Classic and is the second stop on the winter leg of the Vodacom Southern African Tour. There are numerous prosperous farms in Kathu and many of the residents work hard to protect and conserve the rare camel thorn trees that are the town’s namesake. Visit this small town if you are a golf fanatic or if you enjoy a more laid back approach to life.



Sutherland is a small Karoo town which lies close to the border of the Western Cape. It is famous for its warm hospitality, snowy winters, stunning starry nights and awe-inspiring landscapes. The architecture is of significant interest to those who enjoy history and art.

The annual wildflower display is one of the major reasons to visit Sutherland, but the crisp, clear night skies also draw in a lot of stargazers and romantics. The Anglo Boer war left this small town with a number of forts and blockhouses, such as Rebelskop, a hill topped by the ruins of a fort and named after a Boer division of men who opposed the British forces. If you are interested in war history, Sutherland is the ideal stop off for you. Sheep farming is popular in what is often called the coldest town in South Africa, so be sure to try one of the many delicious lamb dishes.



Kuruman is less than an hour’s drive from Kathu, which means you can book a room at the luxurious Country Hotels accommodation in Kathu and drive to Kuruman for a day of fun and exploring. Kuruman is dubbed the “oasis of the Kalahari” due to its lush beauty and bounty of beautiful habitats to discover.

Here you will find the Eye of Kuruman, a natural spring which forms a small lake in the middle of the town. The Eye of Kuruman is responsible for providing crystal clear water to the small town. There is also the option to visit the stunning Bird Sanctuary and Reserve, as well as exploring the unique Wonderwerk Cave where many indigenous people gather to collect water from the inner depths of the cave. This is truly a small town made for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.



Loeriesfontein can be found along a dirt road from Nieuwoudtville that is seldom travelled other than by those who are in pursuit of quiver tree forests. It is well-known for being the town with the largest collection of wind pumps in the country and is also home to Rheboksfontein, a farm museum as well as a "perdemeul" (horse-mill) which is still in working order.

Here you will find the famous Fred Turner Museum, a museum dedicated to the culture and historical way of life of the Trek Farmers of Bushmanland/Hantam/Namaqualand, as well as the Windmill Museum. Loeriesfontein is a place full of quirk and character, perfect for those who want to travel off the beaten track and see the natural beauty of the Quiver Tree Forest. This small town is also home to some scrumptious local foods, so bring your appetite and prepare to spend hours soaking up the natural arid beauty of the area.


Get off the beaten path

The Northern Cape is often overlooked when it comes to tourism in South Africa. This could be due to its arid climate or the desolate beauty of the scenery. But you should put it at the top of your travel bucket list instead.

The small towns of Kathu, Sutherland, Kuruman and Loeriesfontein are just a few examples of the unique and exciting places to visit when you are travelling this province. So, stock up on sunscreen and snacks and start your Northern Cape road trip today.

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