Northern Cape Information…
The vast and arid Northern Cape is by far the largest province, slightly bigger than Germany and taking up nearly a third of South Africa’s land area. Yet it has the country’s smallest population, around 1-million people, and an extremely roomy population density of three people per square kilometre.
The province lies to the south of its most important asset, the mighty Orange River, which feeds the agriculture and alluvial diamonds industries. The river forms the border with the country of Namibia in the north, while the Molopo River is at the border with Botswana to the northeast.
The Northern Cape landscape is characterised by vast arid plains with outcroppings of haphazard rock piles. The cold Atlantic Ocean forms the western boundary.
The capital is Kimberley, on the province’s eastern border. Other important towns are Upington, centre of the karakul sheep and dried fruit industries, and the most northerly wine-making region of South Africa; Springbok, in the heart of the Namaqualand spring flower country; Kuruman, founded by the Scottish missionary Robert Moffat; and De Aar, hub of the South African railway network.
Sutherland is the site of the southern hemisphere’s largest astronomical observatory, the multinational-sponsored Southern African Large Telescope, or SALT.