The Northern Cape region of The Kalahari and Diamond Fields borders Botswana, Namibia, the North West Province and the Free State. The Kalahari is situated at the far northeastern point of the Northern Cape. Kalahari is a San word meaning 'a place without water'. In the Diamond Fields area of the Northern Cape, the de Beer brothers discovered diamonds on a farm and by 1872 more than 50000 prospectors had crowded into the little shanty town that later was to become Kimberley. The Kalahari is an endless expanse of red earth with extreme temperatures ranging from cold nights to extremely hot days. Beneath the Kalahari's red earth is a wealth of manganese, iron and other precious ores and is home to vulture and raptor species as well as owl species. The red sands also maintain a wide variety of game farms, which are rich with unique, robust plants and wildlife.
In 1866, the discovery of diamonds in the Diamond Fields lead to the famed South African diamond rush. Prospectors converged on the region with at times as many as 30 000 diggers labouring all day and far into the night. Today prospectors still inspect the gravel beds of the Orange and Vaal rivers for diamonds, though their finds are now few and far between. Out of the diamond rush the town of Kimberley was established. Today Kimberley is a modern city full of fascinating museums and period houses with attractions such as the Kimberley Mine Museum and the Big Hole.
Upington is situated on the banks of the Orange River and is ideally situated as a stopover for travelers from Cape Town or Johannesburg heading towards Namibia. To the extreme north of the region lies the vast desert wilderness of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
The area is also home to the Augrabies Falls National Park. During exceptional floods the flow here can exceed that of the Victoria Falls and is considered by many geologists to be the world's most intriguing example of weathered granite. The town of Kakamas is situated just a few kilometers from the Falls and is the perfect stopover for visitors. The town has extensive irrigation schemes and boasts eleven working water wheels. Kakamas has become a significant farming area and produces export quality peaches and grapes .
Information on towns in the Kalahari and Diamondfields Region
Augrabies, Kimberley, Upington