Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Spring has sprung in the Northern Cape and the province is welcoming visitors with its annual fantastic floral display. Experts reckon that this flower season promises to be one of the most spectacular in years and prolific flowering has already been reported in various areas since mid August. The Namaqua, Hantam and Nieuwoudtville areas as well as the coastal routes are currently a kaleidoscope of colour as various kinds of daisies, succulents and other indigenous species in full bloom.

1.     Legends of the Northern Cape
The Northern Cape boasts a rich cultural heritage and each month we highlight people, who have  shaped and influenced our lives... read more

2.     Interesting Northern Cape
The Northern Cape will be celebrating Tourism Month 2012 with a jam-packed calendar of events and activities happening across the province.... read more.

3.     Destination Insider
This month, we visit the Karoo region... read more.

4.   Explore
We explore... read more.

5.     Stay at
A wide choice of accommodation is available... read more

6.     What's On Diary
Our events calendar is filled with exciting events and festivals... read more.

7. Impressions My Northern Cape
Share your Northern Cape experiences with us and send your photos... read more.

Legends of the Northern Cape

Renowned author Olive Schreiner (24 March 1855 – 11 December 1920) had close links with Kimberley and the Northern Cape and lived in the capital with her husband and was even buried there. Schreiner received worldwide acclaim for her book "Story of an African Farm" based on her growing up in South Africa and on the diamond fields. Olive later became one of the first voices of feminism in South Africa as well as an avid anti-war campaigner and intellectual. . Today her small three-roomed cottage is a landmark in the village of Matjiesfontein. In more recent studies, she has also been described as an apologist for those sidelined by the forces of British Imperialism, such as the Afrikaners and later other South African groups like Blacks, Jews and Indians - to name but a few. Although she may be called a lifelong freethinker in terms of her Victorian background - as opposed to mainstream Christianity - she always remained true to the spirit of the Christian Bible and developed a secular version of the worldview of her missionary parents. (Source: wikipedia)

Pixley Seme was born on 1 October 1881 in Natal, the son of Isaka Sarah (nee Mseleku) Seme. He obtained his primary school education at the local mission school where the American Congregationalist missionary, Reverend S. C. Pixley, took an interest in him and arranged for him to go the Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts in the USA. Seme did his BA degree at Columbia and then went to Oxford University, where he completed his law degree. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in London before returning to South Africa on the eve of the creation of the Union of South Africa in 1910. His memorable speech at Columbia University in 1906 on “The Regeneration of Africa” won him the University’s highest oratorical honour, the George William Curtis medal. The speech was circulated widely in South Africa and revealed Seme’s remarkable way with words. While in London in 1909, Seme followed deliberations about the Union of South Africa Bill (1909) that proposed a framework for the establishment of the Union of South Africa. His reaction to this development is articulated in another authoritative view on the future of South Africa.

Explorer David Livingstone (19 March 1813 – 1 May 1873) was first drawn to Africa by his fellow missionary Robert Moffat, who had been doing passionate missionary work amongst the local tribes in the Kuruman region. Livingstone later married Moffat’s daughter Mary and was no stranger to pulpits of various congregations throughout the Northern Cape. Livingstone was born to a working-class family in Scotland. He qualified as a Licentiate of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 1840 and was also ordained as a missionary by the London Missionary Society that same year and set sail for South Africa and onward to the mission station at Kuruman as a missionary doctor. From 1841 until his death in 1873, Livingstone explored the interior of central and southern Africa. His initial aim was to spread Christianity and bring commerce and "civilisation" to these regions, but his later missions were more concerned with exploration, firstly of the Zambesi and its tributaries and later to find the source of the Nile. Livingstone was one of the first medical missionaries to enter southern Africa, the first in central Africa and he was often the first European to meet local tribes. (Source: wikipedia) (Source: wikipedia)

Interesting Northern Cape

September was Tourism Month and the Northern Cape used this opportunity to promote travel within the province to the domestic market, while simultaneously highlighting the crucial impact of domestic travel for the Northern Cape to tourism product owners. Events and activities on the events calendar also allow visitors to explore the pulse of the Northern Cape by experiencing the traditions, stories and lifestyle of its peoples.

The Northern Cape Tourism Authority, the tourism destination marketing body for South Africa’s largest province will utilise the pillars of the domestic tourism campaign “It’s Here, Vaya Mzansi” to highlight the amazing offerings of South Africa’s largest province.  Take a tour of the Northern Cape and share your experience by sending your best tourism month photo to

The Northern Cape prides itself in the diversity of the province, its people and offerings.  Lately, the province gained prominence for its forward-thinking, environmentally friendly campaigns and activities.  From green energy to bio-diversity and rehabilitation projects, the Northern Cape is fast emerging as a leader in the green environment race.

The charming town of Loxton is leading the way with several unique biodiversity projects.  The town currently forms part of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Riverine Rabbit Programme and is running several projects aimed at the conservation and protection of the critically endangered Riverine Rabbit (Bunolagus monticularis), which is endemic to the seasonal riverine systems in the Nama- Karoo. Please call Bonnie on +27 (0)82 332 5447 for more information.

The small town of Kommagas near Springbok in the Northern Cape could receive an employment boost through a recently awarded bioprospecting licence.  Struggling with a 90% unemployment rate, the town is set to reap rewards through the cultivation of the indigenous Kraalbos shrub.

Flower reports from throughout the province are still reporting beautiful blooms.  Early flowers were spotted along the West Coast since July, while August saw the floral carpet spreading through the Namaqua National Park and Garies region and fields of daisies surrounding Matjiesfontein, Nieuwoudtville and Loeriesfontein.  Flower experts advise the blossom brigade to plan their journey according to the direction of the sun.  Driving with the sun from behind in a westward direction in the morning and an easterly direction after midday allows for the best flower viewing.  Make the best of sunny days as the flowers are fully open for approximately five hours between 11h00 and 16h00.

From Springbok in the North to Kamieskroon in the heart of the Namaqua, along the Hantam area to the bulb capital Nieuwoudtville on the edge of the escarpment, each area of the Northern Cape offers flower hunters a unique floral experience.  Numerous hiking trails make the most of Mother Nature’s bounty as it allows botanical enthusiasts to get up close to discover the floral miracle.

The most visible flowers at the moments are the fields of yellow, white and orange Namaqua daisies and flowers can be seen in and around the following towns:

    Goegap Nature Reserve
    Namakwa National Park 
    Port Nolloth
    Hondeklip Bay 

Contact the local tourism offices or national parks for daily flower updates and blooming hotspots or visit  Tankwa National Park:  +27(0)27-341 1927; Hantam Area: +27 (0)27 341 2203; Namaqua National Park: +27 (0)27 672 1948; Namakwa Tourism Office: +27(0)27 712 8036

Destination Insider

In this issue, we visit South Africa’s heartland - the Karoo region with its unexpected, yet awe- inspiring landscapes, which seems to sweep on forever.  Sometimes sinister, sometimes placid, but never dull. The Karoo stretches over vast plains with the horizons far removed.  The flat dolorite koppies dominate the enchanted world where the Springbuck proudly ‘pronk’, where the sunset seems to set the sky on fire and the dawn breaks cool in the morning. It is where the jackals call to their mates and sing in the moon. Flock of sheep wander peacefully over vast acres of grazing ground.

Colesberg –  this historic town sits alongside the N1 highway at the junction with the N9 and is located almost halfway between Gauteng and Cape Town, which makes it a perfectly situated overnight stop.  Colesberg is also an ideal base from which to explore the region via day trips to the impressive waters of Vanderkloof Dam, Lake Gariep and town tours.  Colesberg was established in 1830 and retains a number of its old buildings, some of which offers accommodation and/or eateries. The area around Colesberg is known for its stud farms where some of the country’s top merino sheep and famed racing horses are bred.  The Kuyasa township has some fine examples of very old stone houses built using local rocks from the surrounding hills.

Please contact the Tourist info on +27(0)51 753 0678 for more information.


Amachule Akwantu – this community co-operative trading in traditional crafts is situated behind the museum.

Anglo Boer War – Colesberg served as the southern front in the early days of the war when over 11 000 Boer and British troops took part in the Colesberg actions from November 1899 to March 1900. Their graves, memorials, fortifications, battle and camp sites can still be seen in and around the town. The Norvalspont concentration camp and cemetery include Coleskop, Plateau Camp, Grenadier Guard Rock, Suffolk Hill and Memorial Hill.

Doornkloof Nature Reserve lies 50km north of Colesberg and boasts a rich wildlife such as plains game and 173 bird species.  It also features a 10km stretch of the Seekoei River, one of the most important tributaries of the Orange River. Please call +27(0)51 753 1315 for more information.

Lake Gariep lies 40km north of town on the R58 and is a great place for a variety of watersports.
The Horse Mill is the best-preserved horse mill in the country and has a wooden milling mechanism dating to the 1840s. It’s located in a historic building in Bell Street, which today serves as a pub and restaurant.

Carnavon – During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Xhosa moved up to the middle Orange River and settled in small groups in areas of the Karoo such as Schietfontein. This community was served by the Rhenish mission at Harmsfontein, which was established in 1860.   In 1874, the town was renamed in honour of the British Colonial Secretary, Lord Carnavon. Today, the town serves a busy sheep and game farming community. On farms surrounding the town, visitors can find many examples of the authentic corbelled houses, which were built by the Trek Boers during the 19th century, and are unique to this area.  For more information, please call Tourist Info on +27(0)82 221 8045.

Annual light aircraft fly-in – The Carnavon AeroClub hosts an annual aerial extravaganza.  Please call +27(0)53 382 3090 for more information.

Appie van Heerden Nature Reserve – this reserve comprises of 860 hectares and is home to springbok, gemsbok, black wildebeest, blesbok and zebra. The reserve is also part of the Birds in Reserves Project (BIRP)and a vast number of bird species has been recorded here.

Blikkieskroeg – has a collection of 4000 beer cans and an authentic 1950s juke box.

Carnavon museum – displays over 1000 items of cultural and historical interest.

Famous Homes – view the homes of distinguished South African poets AG Visser and DF Malherbe with their intriguing mixture of Victorian and Gothic building styles.
Mountain Tortoise Reserve is home to over 60 mountain tortoises, some who will even respond to their names being called.

Traditional Rieldans – be transported by the traditional rhythms and moves of the Khoi and Khoisan.  For dance demonstrations, please call the municipality on +27(0)53 382 3012.

The Local Brickyard still uses donkey power to turn the paddles of their mixing drums.  Guided tours can be arranged through the tourism office.

Norvalspont can be found 40km north of Colesberg on the R58 and is considered more of a spread-out settlement that a town.  It was named after the man who erected a pontoon on the Orange River in 1842, the use of which cost £1 a crossing at the time. It is known for the infamous Norvalspont concentration camp established in 1901, where many Boer women and children from surrounding farms were incarcerated during the Anglo Boer War.  366 people of whom 267 were children under the age of fifteen died in the camps, mainly from measles.


Philipstown was founded in 1868 due to the need for another Dutch Reformed Church in the area.  The town was named after Sir Philip Edmund Wodehouse, the then Governor of the Cape. There is an historic sandstone church in the middle of town, which has one of the oldest organs in the country and the church is rumoured to have the oldest inhabited rectory in the country. Other quaint buildings such as Die Bokskryt in the main street also have wonderful stories to tell. For more information, contact the tourism offices on +27(0)53 665 0094.

Old Karoo style of buildings – the town has many examples of these buildings dating back over 100 years well as national monuments such as the old prison, the magistrate’s offices, the Dutch Reformed Church and Teichhouse. Rock engravings at Rooipoort and Waschbank


Doornkloof Nature Reserve
Doornkloof Nature Reserve is approximately 45km north-west of Colesberg and was proclaimed in 1981 to conserve its biodiversity and ecological processes with particular emphasis on the Zeekoei River. The Zeekoei River is the largest tributary that enters the Vanderkloof Dam. The landscape is very mountainous with abundant ravines and small true plains. The temperature can be extremely hot in summer and very cold with icy nights during winter with frost and occasional snowfall. Temperature ranges from -8°C in July to 41°C from November to February with a summer rainfall that varies between 300mm to 400mm.

Rolfontein Nature Reserve
Rolfontein Nature Reserve is approximately 8 000 hectares in size.  Located 16km north of Petrusville, the reserve can be accessed either from the R389 from Hanover (109km), or the R369 from Colesberg (90km). From Petrusville proceed to Vanderkloof on the R48.  Be on the look-out for game such as the White Rhino and other mammals such as Eland, Gemsbok, Kudu, Black wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, and Burchell’s zebra. Aardwolf, Brown hyena, Aardvark, Baboon and Vervet monkeys also occur in the reserve. Please call +27(0)53 664 0900 for more information.

Stay at:

The Barracks - +27(0)51 753 2286
The Lighthouse - +27(0)51 753 0043
Coniston Guest House - +27(0)51 753 0242
Die Kleipot Guest House - +27(0)51 753 0360
Merino Inn - +27(0)51 753 0781
Toverberg Guest House - +27(0)51 753 0422
Traveller’s Joy - +27(0)83 376 2857
Colesberg Lodge - +27(0)51 753 0734
Karoo Huisie - +27(0)51 753 0582
Oude Hostel Guest House - +27(0)51 753 0131
River Destiny Lodge - +27(0)51 753 0203
Colesview - +27(0)51 753 1720
The Glasgow Pont Hotel - +27(0)51 755 5010
Gables Inn - +27(0)51 753 0030
Gordon’s Cottage, The - +27(0)51 753 0390
Ketelfontein Guest Farm - +27(0)51 753 0582
La Provence - +27(0)51 753 0486
Nanna Rous’ Town House - +27(0)51 753 0985
Seekooeirivier - +27(0)51 753 1378
Skietberg Lodge - +27(0)82 454 0373

Lord Carnavon Guest House - +27(0)82 780 4209
Out of Africa Guest House - +27(0)53 382 3185
Tip-Top Guest House - +27(0)53 382 3685
Carnavon Hotel - +27(0)53 382 3095
Onse Koffiehuis Restaurant - +27(0)53 382 3194

The Don Guest House - +27(0)49 843 1075
Carlton Heights Guest House - +27(0)49 842 2017
Rooipoort Game and Guest Farm - +27(0)49 843 1707

The Herb Garden - +27(0)53 665 0464
Rooipoort Guest Farm - +27(0)83 277 4142

Karoo Cottage - +27(0)53 381 3091
Jakkalsdans Guest Fram - +27(0)53 381 3005

For more information on accommodation, please visit
What's On Diary

The Maloof Skateboarding for Hope community outreach initiative is a joint initiative between the Northern Cape provincial government and Maloof Skateboarding to bring skateboarding to the youth of South Africa.  Don’t miss out on all the action at your nearest city or town.  Skate clinics, demonstrations and best trick competitions will wow the crowds, while skateboarding enthusiasts can show of their talent.  Loads of prizes are up for grabs and the most talented skater stand the chance to win a wild card entry to the Maloof Money Cup skateboarding championships, which will take place from 28-30 September at the Kimberley Skate Plaza. Tickets to the world championships are now on sale at Computicket for 2012.
Don’t miss the Skateboarding for Hope activations at the following venues this month:

Pro Tours

    21 September – Kathu
    22 September – Postmasburg: Town Hall

 Maloof Money Cup 2012

    27 September – Maloof All-City Contest
    28-30 September – Maloof Skate Plaza, Kimberley : Maloof Money Cup

Entry tickets to the skate park are available on the Computicket website or Checkers/Shoprite stores countrywide.  Entry on Friday, 28 September, is free, while tickets for Saturday, 29 September, and Sunday, 30 September, cost R50 per person.  Weekend passes are available at R80. The official opening event with a mini concert featuring DJ Dino Bravo, Da Les and Jack Parow carries no charge

On Saturday, 29 September, American superstar Lil Jon will perform at the skate park. Your weekend pass or Saturday ticket will give you access to this performance. On Saturday evening, the international artist Ciara, and national artists Zahara, Kenny Kunene & Dr Victor will be performing at the MonsterMob Raceway. Tickets are R60 for general entry, R150 for Golden Circle and R600 for VIP entrance. Tickets for the concert will be going live soon at Computicket.

The inaugural Kalahari Desert Speedweek hosted by Speedweek SA in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the Northern Cape Tourism Authority will take place at Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape from 22 – 30 September 2012. The epic club event will simulate the legendary Bonneville Speedweek hosted in Utah, USA and promises South African motoring enthusiasts the experience of a lifetime.  Different classes of vehicles and motorcycles ranging from pre-war classics to modern-day supercars and superbikes will be eligible to participate in the competition, which will be a timed race over a track featuring a 7km straight. For more information, visit or contact organiser Jan Els on +27(0)82 668 2811 or Peter McKuchane on +27(0)82 467 2525.

The 13th Apollo Film Festival is an important national film event and showcases the best South African independent films in 3 three categories: Feature, Documentary and Short films. The Apollo theatre and the Apollo project are major tourism initiatives in the Northern Cape.  Primarily situated in The Apollo, an Art Deco cinema gem, the festival also has a vital outreach programme. Funded by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).

Venue: Apollo Theatre, Victoria West, Northern Cape
Contact:  Petrus Martens on 079 397 3876

The Kalahari Kuierfees was started in 1992 as the SAD Rosyntjiefees. The entire festival takes place at the Eiland holiday resort, which makes it easily accessible for visitors. The 4-day festival attracts more than 30 000 visitors and 170 exhibitors.   The festival grounds are located on the banks of the mighty Orange River.
Dates: 27 Sep 2012 to 29 Sep 2012
Location: Upington
Contact: Tel: +27 (0)54 332-1100

The SANPARKS Arid region consists of 5 National parks, including the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, lAi-lAis/ Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Augrabies Falls Park, Namaqua National Park and the Mokala National Park. The Arid Region Cultural Event is staged to showcase the richness and cultural diversity during National Parks Week and National Tourism Month to all visitors to the parks. Contact Mokala National Park for more information on this interesting cultural event.
Contact Details:
Tel: 054 338 0600
Cell: 084 491 1140

Northern Cape Impressions

Please share your Northern Cape experiences, stories and photos of events with us by e-mailing