#UnlockYourCity: Hitting the road to the Northernmost Northern Cape


Driving from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Namibia? It’s the perfect excuse to explore the vast landscapes of the northernmost parts of SA’s Northern Cape, north of Upington in that tiny enclosure on the border between SA, Namibia and Botswana.

Here are a few of our favourite things to get up to in the area.

Must-See & Do

Go dune-boarding at Rooi Duin Guest Farm. Love surfing? Why not opt for a different landscape and surf the iconic Red Dunes of the Kalahari?

The best time to go is at sunset, when the sky matches the colour of the landscape. Gliding down the dunes is exhilarating, but be prepared to wash some red sand from your ears and nostrils even days after you’ve taken a tumble!

Get your adrenaline pumping with some 4x4 dune riding on Loch Maree Guest Farm. If you’re not one for speed and adrenaline, do this anyway! It might just convert you into a sand-loving speedster! Plus, from the highest point of the dunes at Loch Maree, you’ll be able to have an eagle eye view of the Kalahari Desert salt pans – something incredible to see.

Take an early morning walk with Prof Anne Rasa and the quirky meekats of Kalahari Trails. It’s not only one of a few places to see meerkats up close and personal in their natural habitat, but also a rehabilitation centre for meerkats that have been sold as domestic pets.

SEE: Meandering the Orange: 3 Once-in-a-lifetime Northern Cape experiences


Things can get ready hot and dry in the northernmost regions of the Northern Cape, and in some cases only an ice-cold beer can cure your road trip blues. For this, we suggest Molopo Kalahari Lodge just west of Ashkam. 

For something a little quainter, try the milk tart and homemade ginger beer at Diamond T – it’s the perfect place to get a taste of the local Kalahari hospitality.

SEE: SA border-crossing break to make the most of this summer


If you’re thinking of driving from Cape Town to Namibia, we suggest you overnight right before the border post before heading into Nam early the next morning.

There’s nothing fancy about the Kalahari Info & Tented Camp near the Rietfontein border, but owners oom Hendrik and tannie Gertruida Bott will make you feel like family. Plus, tannie Bot (as the locals call her) cooks some of the most delicious Kalahari food you can imagine – definitely a plus after a gruelling road trip.

Closer to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on the border of South Africa and Botswana, Kgalagadi Lodge is also a great place to stay. The pool is especially welcome during the blazing hot days. Oh, and be on the lookout for the resident Emu, who loves taking selfies with guests…

What to read next on Traveller24:

- Exploring the national parks of the Northern Cape

Not Far From Home: Why Namibia Is Any Photographer’s Dream

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo