Walking and Hiking in Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is South Africa’s biggest province. It is magnificently beautiful and is noted for its San rock art, diamond diggings, 4x4 Trails and the vast 38 000 sq. km Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which is home to large herds of antelope and the Kalahari lion.

Did you know? What makes the Northern Cape particularly attractive to hiking enthusiasts, is its largely open and unpopulated spaces.

The Northern Cape is also home to the two biggest battlefields of the Anglo Boer War namely the Paardeberg and Magersfontein. Between July and August the Karoo brightens up when the Namaqualand flowers bloom and proliferate in the area. This is an exquisite sight and attracts millions from all over the world to come visit this splendid occurrence.

The Northern Cape boasts numerous fantastic hiking trails in and around these magnificent areas. It also boasts numerous game reserves that offer fantastic hiking trails. The Augrabies Falls National Park is home to a 56m waterfall that thunders down when the Orange River is in full flood. The Khoi people called it ‘Aukoerebis’, or place of Great Noise, as this powerful flow of water is let loose from rocky surroundings characterized by the 18-km abyss of the Orange River Gorge.

You have the opportunity to enjoy a multi-day hike in the park where you may observe gemsbock, springbok and the endangered black rhino to mention a few or hike to the waterfall and view its magnificence closer. This beautiful park offers the Klipspringer 3 day hiking trail. This trail is unfortunately closed from 15 October to the end of March because of the extreme heat experienced in the area. This hike offers incredible views of the shimmering falls and the river gorge. The trail hugs the side of the gorge for the first part of the hike before winding its way across the rugged, rocky terrain. Despite the scarceness of the vegetation some beautiful examples of flora are to be found along the route.

The Richtersveld area is botanically one of the most interesting areas and boasts hundreds of species of flowering succulents. Its jagged mountain peak, wind-sculpted boulders and colourful indigenous flora have a unique beauty. Explore the hidden wonders and go hiking through this beautiful area.

The Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve, situated 16km outside Nieuwoudtville in the Northern Cape, comprises of 4776 hectares of mountains which have been dissected by deep river gorges through which the Oorlogskloof River flows. This magnificent nature reserve offers 2 hiking trails that have been laid out in the reserve as well as two day walks. The 2 hikes are the Rock Pigeon Hiking Trail and the Rameron Pigeon Hiking Trail (see details below). The two day walks are the Leopard Trap Day Hike and the Rietvlei Day Hike.

The Rock Pigeon Trail is 4-5 days and approximately 52 km long. The trail includes views of the glistening river, magnificent protea stands, numerous beautiful bird species, interesting rock formations and mysterious rock paintings. The Rameron Pigeon Hiking trail covers the same terrain and is 2 days longer. The Leopard trap Day hike is 15,5km long and will take around 6-9 hours to complete. It follows a route from Groot Tuin past the leopard cage to the Knersvlakte viewing site. The Rietvlei Day Hike is 17,9km long and will take approximately 7-10 hours to complete. This is a route for those who would like to swim in the shimmering Oorlogskloof River and will also take in the Knersvlakte viewing site.

The picturesque Namaqualand region offers the Kodaspiek, Lelieshoek-Oemsberg and Venstervalle hiking trails to mention a few. All hikes offer magnificent views of game and vary in length and days. When the season is right, you will have the awesome opportunity to view the magnificent Namaqualand flowers that blossom and flourish this beautiful area.

The Northern Cape in South Africa boasts exquisite views and awesome wild-life. The region may be rather dry at times, yet beauty is abundant and visible even when dry. Enjoy these hiking trails view the rugged beauty of this fantastic area.

Recommended Hiking in Northern Cape

Hiking Trails

Dassie Trail Augrabies

Stay? Augrabies Accommodation
Start: Augrabies National Park, rest camp Finish: rest camp – the trail is circular Duration: 5 km Fitness: moderate Our tip: if you are in the reserve during ...

Hiking Trails

Oorlogskloof Rameron Pigeon Trail

Stay? Nieuwoudtville Accommodation
Start: Groot Tuin, Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve Finish: Groot Tuin Duration: 4 – 7 days, 53 km Fitness: moderately fit Our tip: pack a field guide to the area ...

Hiking Trails

Silver Sands Trail

Stay? Springbok Accommodation
Start: Namaqua National Park, Hondeklipbaai Finish: base camp Duration: 55 km over five days Fitness: moderate Our tip: enjoy the total lack of cell phone ...

Hiking Trails

Transkaroo Hiking Trail

Stay? Colesberg Accommodation
Start: farm near the village of Noupoort, 40 km from Colesberg Finish: back at the farm; the hike is circular Duration: 3 days, 42 km Fitness: moderately ...

Hiking Trails

Tankwa Camino

Stay? Calvinia Accommodation
South Africa's version of the Spanish Camino Santiago, the Tankwa Camino is a long and demanding 10-day trek through the Karoo that introduces people to this ...

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Where to enjoy Hiking in Northern Cape

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