A land of diamonds, wildflowers and wide open spaces, this remote province is characterised by the arid plains of the Kalahari and, the brilliant blooms that fill Namaqualand every August. Head out into the wilderness in search of black-maned lions and meerkats and look out over the Big Hole diamond mine in the rough-and-ready town of Kimberley - the pace that gave birth to De Beers.
Situated on the southern fringes of the great Kalahari Desert, around seven hours’ drive west of Johannesburg, is Tswalu Kalahari – a vast private game reserve where the austerity of its desert landscapes provides one of South Africa’s most authentic wilderness experiences. Here, visitors have the chance to encounter several unusual species, including roan and sable antelope, meerkats, Hartmann’s mountain zebra and a small but growing population of rare desert black rhino.
Black rhino in Tswalu Kalahari, Northern Cape
For botanists, the Namaqua National Park is something of a mecca, it's otherwise arid landscapes transforming each spring into a psychedelic carpet of brightly coloured blooms. The season is short – from early August to late September – and displays are dependent on the winter rains. Namaqualand is also well noted for its biodiversity, with more than 40% of the resident plant species endemic to the region. There's wildlife here, too, including the endangered Hartmann's zebra, aardwolf and honey badger.
Oryx in Namaqualand, Northern Cape