Northern Cape Tourist Attractions

If you long for wide-open spaces and endless back roads that lead from one horizon to the next, you’ll love all the Northern Cape attractions. While it’s South Africa’s largest province, it’s also the least populated – and possibly most underrated – corner of the country. Stretching from the mouth of the Orange River across a semi-desert landscape that tumbles from the rocky upper reaches of the Karoo to the red dunes of the Kalahari, the rugged Northern Cape offer an escape into the soulful and silent wilds of the flatlands, and Kimberley tourist attractions abound, too.

With so many Northern Cape attractions to explore, you’ll discover open spaces, unique vegetation, famous black-maned lions, star-studded night skies, and one of the world’s most important diamond mining towns: Kimberley.

Kimberley Tourist Attractions

Kimberley rightly deserves its status as the main attraction of the Northern Cape. Born out of the diamond rush of the late 1800s, much of the original history is conserved, including the famous Big Hole that was excavated by hand. Today, the capital of the Northern Cape is a modern city with plenty of popular Kimberley tourist attractions, including visiting malls, art galleries, restaurants, and a licensed casino.

With a wide selection of slots and table games, Flamingo Casino gives you a chance to relive the excitement of the diamond rush and offers excellent entertainment and leisure activities. You can treat the family to a delicious meal at the Harvest Charcoal Grill, or tee-off at the Kimberley Golf Club.

Uniquely located in historic Kimberley, there are plenty of family activities to enjoy nearby. Use the Flamingo Casino as a base from which to discover a myriad of Northern Cape attractions and things to do in Kimberley.

Kimberley tourist attractions

Top things to do and Kimberley tourist attractions near Flamingo Casino.

  • Start exploring Kimberley at its main attraction: the Big Hole, a hand-dug hole the size of eight football fields.
  • Visit the Kimberley Mine Museum to learn about the days of the diamond rush, and go underground on a guided tour of a once-operational diamond mine that descends 840m below the surface.
  • Marvel at bygone architecture in Kimberley's oldest suburb, Belgravia, which dates back to the 1870s. Not only were these homes built at the peak of the diamond rush, legend has it that there were once more millionaires concentrated in this area than anywhere else in the world. No surprise then, that it's also the birthplace of South Africa's mining magnate, Harry Oppenheimer.
  • If art is your thing, head to the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre to view ancient San rock art, or the William Humphreys Art Gallery for a unique collection of 16th and 17th century Flemish, Dutch, English and French masters.
  • Anglo-Boer War historians, don't miss a visit to the Magersfontein battlefield and museum, only a short drive out of Kimberley.
  • As the diamond capital of the world, Kimberley is renowned for its exquisitely crafted jewellery. Why not treat yourself to a shiny memento from the Northern Cape?

There are loads of things to do in the Northern Cape, but as it’s so large, you might need more than a day’s trip from Kimberley to explore its many attractions.

Top getaways to explore the Northern Cape

Here are our top getaways to explore the Northern Cape attractions.

  • If you're in the area during August and September, head to Namaqualand to view the natural wildflowers in bloom, a colourful spectacle that draws botanists, photographers and tourists from across the globe.
  • Discover the Green Kalahari near the town of Upington, a lush area along the banks of the Orange River that is lined with vineyards that skirt the edges of the desert. Enjoy river rafting and camping.
  • Visit the Augrabies Falls, the largest waterfall in South Africa (best viewed after the summer rains), and one of the top Northern Cape attractions.
  • One the largest nature conservation areas in Southern Africa and one of the largest protected natural ecosystems in the world, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has a wild population of antelope, leopards and cheetah. This untouched wilderness is also home to the famous black-maned lions and pygmy falcons.
  • Experience the haunting lunar landscapes of the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park along the Namibian border. The unique succulent vegetation of this mountainous desert still sustains the area's semi-nomadic Nama people. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Richtersveld is popular with 4x4 enthusiasts and nature lovers who want to get away from it all.
  • Another must on your list of Northern Cape attractions: a stargazing safari in Sutherland. The South African Astronomical Observatory is home to the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. Here the clear night skies offer you the perfect opportunity to view the stars and learn more about this place known as "the Gateway to the Universe".

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