The Northern Cape is a land of many diverse cultures, and of frontier history and brave missionaries. It offers countless challenges for adrenaline junkies, hikers, hunters and 4×4 adventurers. It has impressive parks with endless game and some of the most unique flora in the world.
Much of its life and adventure is dependent on the sweeping tide of the Orange River, a 2 000km stretch of natural magnificence dubbed the !Garib (great river) by the Khoisan. It has ribbons of green along its banks that contrast with the arid surrounds. At some places it is 6km wide with an impassable torrent; at others, scarcely a stream.
The Kalahari Desert can be likened to a colossal sweeping river of another kind. Its red sands that once rippled and moved are now mostly stable and home to hundreds of diverse species of flora and fauna.
A place of vastness and silence, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (bigger than some countries) extends across much of the Kalahari. Every now and then, the unmistakable cry of an African fish eagle rings out, or the gut-wrenching roar of a black-maned Kalahari lion carries across the landscape.
The openness continues to the vast koppie-strewn plains of the Karoo and Namakwa, where hardy succulents complement sweet grasses, and the clean, clear air is bedecked with stars at night.
Photographers, writers and orators fail to adequately communicate the experience. After watching springbok pronk through the veld, hundreds of wildebeest migrating, a wild cat stalking its prey and shooting stars sprinting across the sky, you will realise that this is a destination you can’t merely read about or drive through – it’s a destination you have to participate in.