The vast terrain of the Northern Cape – from mountains and dunes to never-ending flats – is often compared to a moonscape. While you may not experience zero gravity here, you will have some serious fun going on off-road adventures and exciting 4x4 trails.
The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province, but also the least populated, meaning a lot of the land lies untouched. You’ll be amazed by the carpets of flowers, stretching as far as the eye can see, with jagged mountains in between that will put anyone’s driving skills to the ultimate test. It’s all worth it though with a mix of breathtaking scenery and roaming wildlife that will leave you in awe.
There are so many trails to choose from and some of them even offer the challenge of sand dunes.
Have a go at the 50km-long Egerton Trail, which explores sand, rocky hills and dongas; the 200km Nossob 4x4 eco-trail in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with its challenging dune traverses; or the Witsand trail that offers two trail choices over dunes and mountains.
If it's duration you’re after, tackle the Namaqua Trail, said to be the longest 4x4 route in the country. More options in this area include the Richtersveld Route in the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, or Riemvasmaak, with its three trail offerings, covering 160km that vary from deep sand to extremely rough tracks, deep ditches to rocky plateaus – definitely not one for the novice! Neither is the De Postjes Trail, a challenging route through the Nuweveld Mountains.
Next, head to Augrabies National Park to experience the closest thing to driving on the moon, then on to Khamkirri, where the trails cater for varying abilities. The Diamond Coast Trail along the West Coast will see you adding some sparkle to your trip with shipwrecks and diamond mines.
There’s also the Kalahari Trail in the Mier region, and the robust Cobus se Gat Trail and the Toekoms Trail in the Namakwa District.
No matter which trail, or trails, you decide to go on, one thing is for sure – you’re in for a trip of a lifetime!
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Northern Cape Tourism Authority
Tel: +27 53 832 2657
Fax: +27 53 831 2937
Best time to visit
The impressive kaleidoscope of blooming wild flowers in the Namakwa and Green Kalahari regions of the Northern Cape takes place from late July to November.
What to pack
Binoculars, camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, sturdy hiking boots, water, map, mobile phone, and a GPS.