Northern Cape Tourist AttractionsDiamond Route
Where? The De Beers Diamond Route is an eco route that includes 10 destinations across the country, although four of them are in and around Kimberley, hence its name – Diamond Route.
The motive for the route's design is to rehabilitate and conserve six hectares of land for every hectare the company mines, as a way to redress the balance between the use of natural resources and sustaining the ecosystem.
Combined the route makes up 250 000 hectares across South Africa and Botswana. These properties give people a chance to commune with the diversity of nature – from cultivated gardens to mopani woodlands and riverine forests to savannah grassland and the sandscapes of the Kalahari.
Orapa Game Park
This 12 200 hectare game park lies on the edge of Botswana's Makgadikgadi, 240 km west of Francistown. The animal, reptile and bird life of the reserve is as diverse as its landscape, including the white-backed and lappet-faced vultures, and ten white female rhinos.
Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve
The 32 000 hectare Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve is unusual for its dinosaur fossils and rock art sites. It also forms part of the Mapungubwe National Park, a World Heritage Site, where visitors can see the Big Five.
Telperion Nature Reserve
This reserve lies only two hours' drive from Johannesburg on the banks of the Wilge River (Mpumalanga). Not only is it one of the premier birding spots, particularly for grassland birds, but the reserve is the site of the ancient rock paintings and the 6 km Penduka Trail.
If you have not already visited the remarkable 16 hectare Brenthurst Garden in Houghton, Johannesburg, then add it to your list. The six distinct organically maintained gardens are a feast of indigenous and exotic plants, over 90 birds, and on site gardeners to guide visitors.
Kimberley's Big Hole
This tourist attraction needs little introduction. One of five original 'big holes' in the city, it is one the only ones to remain unfilled – the largest man-made hole in the world from which 2 722 kg of diamonds were mined.
Dronfield Nature Reserve
This reserve is famous for its colony of white-backed vultures and vulture restaurant, close to Kamfers Dam (Kimberley) where you will find 50 000 lesser flamingos.
Benfontein Nature Reserve 10 km outside of Kimberley runs a number of research programmes but is also well known for its unusual animals, like the nocturnal aardwolf, black-footed cat, Cape fox, bat-eared fox and caracal, a number of nocturnal birds and rodents.
Rooipoort Nature Reserve
A Natural Heritage Site just west of Kimberley, this huge reserve preserves 4 600 rock art engravings, and is one of the largest private suppliers of wildlife to other reserves and game farms across southern Africa.
This 100 000 hectare reserve lies at the foot of the Korannaberg in the Northern Cape, its focus both conservation and community upliftment. Highlights include game and bird viewing, guided walks with trackers across the red sand dunes, and rhino tracking.
The Namaqua National Park includes a couple of substantial De Beers properties made available to SANParks in 2008. during August and September the park is a carpet of wild flowers. At other times of the year birds, indigenous plants, animals and insects are best viewed on the 48 km Diamond Coast Hiking Trail.