Northern Cape of South Africa

The Northern Cape province of South Africa is the largest of all provinces with a land mass the size of Germany. About half the population speaks Afrikaans while the rest speak a mix of Setswana and English.

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The largest part of the province is within the Nama-Karoo biome. Within it, the Namaqua National Park where a spectacular sight lasts only for a few weeks between August and October. If you time your trip right, you can frolic in a field of orange daisies. The Skilpad Wildflower Reserve section of the Park springs to life with blooms of the Namaqualand or the succulent karoo. It is estimated 3,500 plant species bloom every year; 1000 of which are found no where else on Earth. Don’t worry if you can’t make it during this bloom. The Namaqua National Park is still worth a visit with its walking trails, bird watching, and quartz patches. It is also home to world’s smallest tortoise, the Namaqua Speckled Padloper.

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The Northern Cape is the perfect place for space enthusiasts. Home to the largest single optical telescope in the southern telescope, it is a great place to go and learn about stars, galaxies and black holes.  The Northern Cape is also apart of The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) with Australia which will be a multi radio telescope with a collecting area of one square kilometer. It will be the worlds largest radio telescope. According to its website “The SKA will be so sensitive that it will be able to detect an airport radar on a planet 50 light years away.” How amazing! Although it won’t be fully completed till 2030 the steps they have completed are sure worth looking at and learning about.

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