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Land and wildlife: 


The Northern Cape has a total land area of 372 889 square kilometres which is 30.5% of South Africa's total land area. 

Besides the Northern Cape being know for Kimberly and the "Big Hole", another important town is Upington, which is an important sheep farming and dried fruit growing area. It is also where the most northerly wine-making region is located in South Africa and the iconic springbok roam through the Namaqualand, which offers a beautiful array of spring flowers.

Due to the areas low rainfall levels, it falls into the Nama-Karoo biome, identified by low scrubland and grass vegetation. During a very short period each year, there is an explosion of stunning spring flowers which has become a world renowned tourist attraction.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was Africa's first cross boarder game park which came about with the joining of Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and Botswana's Gemsbok National Park. It is one of the largest conservation areas in Southern Africa and protected natural ecosystems in the world. The Ai-Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Parks crossed the border into Namibia. It is crossed by the orange river and contains the Ai-Ais Hot Springs. The Augrabies Falls which are part of the Orange river are made up of 19 separate waterfalls dropping 191 meters into a 43 meter deep pool. 

Northern Cape: Quick Facts


  • Provincial Capital City: Kimberley


  • ​Languages: 53.8% Afrikaans, 33.1% Setswana


  • Population: 1 145 861 (2011)


  • Share of SA population: 2.2%


  • Area: 372 889 square kilometres


  • Share of total SA area: ​30.5%
The Northern Cape is the largest of South Africa's provinces and is larger than the whole of Germany. It takes up almost a third of the entire countries land area but despite this fact, it has the smallest provincial population with just over a million people. The provincial capital city is Kimberly which is located close to the Eastern border.  Kimberly most famous landmark is a diamond mine called the  "Big Hole", which is the world's largest hand dug excavation. It is 217 meters deep, 17 hectare surface area and a perimeter of 1.6 Kilometres. 

The Northern Cape is shaped and built by 3 bodies of water. The most important is the Orange river which forms the border between South Africa and Namibia. It is this river which supports the two main industries in the province, being agriculture and mining. The grounds of the Northern Cape are extremely mineral rich, contribution to almost a quarter of the GDP. The Molopo River forms the North-eastern border with Botswana. The final is the cold Atlantic Ocean forming the western edge of the country. The majority of the province has a very characteristic arid plains landscape with large rock pile outcrops.

The Kalahari region of the Northern Cape is where the last remaining true San (Bushman) live. They are outstanding trackers and have been recruited into many reserves to help with wildlife conservation. They are a group of people who rely heavily on the environment and only take and use what they need. It is the morals of this culture which need to be adopted by thousands more to help conserve endangered animals and habitats. 

General Information 


Northern cape