10 family holiday activities in the North Cape
SPONSORED: Rafting the Orange, gazing at the Milky Way in Sutherland, descending a dune or riding a horse, camel, bicycle or donkey cart – the Northern Cape has fun activities for the whole family .
1. Rafting on the Orange
This is one of the adventures the North Cape is famous for, and it’s an experience your family will talk about for years to come. In fact, it’s the one vacation activity that should be on every South African’s list. In the Richtersveld region, seasoned operators like Wildthing Adventures, Bushwacked, and Felix Unite offer four-day river adventures. In the evening, socialize around the campfire and sleep under the starry sky. Further ‘upstream’ of the river, near Pofadder, Gravity Adventures can take you along pristine sections of Orange Gorge and Raap-en-Skraaf. In the Augrabies region, Khamkirri offers inflatable raft trips (ranging from half a day to five days) and shorter kayaking experiences.
2. Safety first
Want to go rafting but concerned about the safety of your children? Then Paddle Zone at Onseepkans is a good option. Paddle Zone not only buys and sells everything associated with the sport, but also offers courses in which they teach beginners how to row, and they offer advanced guide courses for those who want a career in adventure tourism. .
3. Rafting and walking
In addition to offering four- to six-day rafting expeditions on the Orange, Umkulu Adventures (in the Vioolsdrif region) also offers “wet & wild” adventures, which combine rafting with 4×4 trails in the reserve. Nababeep. It is a true African adventure that you will not experience anywhere else.
Do you like horseback riding? Then you are in for a treat when visiting the North Cape. Explore the Kalahari on horseback from Tswalu Private Reserve or book a horseback riding tour at Horse and Mill Guesthouse in Colesberg. Many farms in the province also offer pony rides for young children.
5. Cycling in a national park
Many national parks don’t allow you to cycle in the park, but there is a handful in the North Cape where you are allowed that special experience: Namaqua National Park (outside of Springbok) , Augrabies Falls National Park (approximately 50 km outside of Kakamas) and Tankwa Karoo National Park (outside of Sutherland). So don’t forget to bring your bikes!
Karoo Gariep Nature Reserve has many dirt roads that families can cycle on their own, as well as the Windpomp-to-Windpomp (35 km) route, which may seem straightforward at first, but it involves a technically difficult section. . This nature reserve also offers horseback riding and is the only place in the Karoo where you can see hippos!
The districts of Nieuwoudtville, Leliefontein and Kamieskroon, as well as the Hantam Botanical Garden, have beautiful agricultural roads for cyclists. Show your children something unique and different by taking them to the Windmill Museum in Leliefontein.
Goegap Nature Reserve is 15 km outside of Springbok and has a 14 km long mountain bike route that allows you to cycle among the animals and bush of the reserve.
6. Take a donkey cart ride
You don’t need to refuel and there will never be a flat tire. Town children might be stunned that donkey carts are still a common mode of transportation in parts of the North Cape. Experience these animals firsthand by taking a donkey cart trip. There are several places where you can book a race: the Oasis Skills Development Center at Mark Street, Upington; Riemvasmaak in the Augrabies region; Klipkolk in the Mier region, near Askham; Vera’s Kookskerm near Leliefontein and Karoo Gariep Nature Reserve (on Mieliefontein and New Holme farms).
7. Our own Jurassic Park
You can see real footprints of the Bradysaurus dinosaur in the Fraserburg area. Book a tour with Marthinus Kruger (around R250 pp). Call 084 873 0098.
Did you know that the quality of the night sky is measured by one point in nine on the Bortle scale? Sutherland in the North Cape is one of the few places in the world to be ranked on the Bortle Scale. This means that on some farms outside of town you won’t be able to see your hand in front of you on a moonless night! This is why Sutherland is home to the Great Southern African Telescope (Salt). Salt is open to visitors. Sterland, about a mile outside of town, also offers stargazing sessions on most nights. And don’t forget to go to the Sutherland Planetarium – it’s the only private planetarium in the country, and well worth a visit.
9. On camel back
Camels are not endemic to South Africa, but decades ago they were imported by police to patrol the border areas of the Kalahari. It was before the days of 4×4 vehicles! You can still see a statue of a policeman sitting on a camel outside Upington Police Station. In Koppieskraal (in the Kgalagadi region) you can taste camel milk and even ride one. Reserve in advance.
ten. Surf a dune
Just imagine all the stunning photos and videos you will have of your family rolling down a Kalahari dune on a sandboard! The North Cape is one of the few areas in the country where you can sandboard. Liquid 360 Adventures is one of the operators who will show you the ropes and take you around the Kakamas area and to Witsand near Augrabies. They have options for beginners as well as seasoned sandboarders.
The 500 to 800 meter long dune at Rooiduin Sandsurfing (near Twee Rivieren, 45 km outside Askham, GPS: S26.74394 E20.62483) is very popular. You can bring your own equipment or rent it on site. The dunes at Molopo Lodge near Askham aren’t that high, but they’re quick and fun to hike.