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General Information

General Information Contents
(Please click on links below to move down on this page)

Tourist Information
Tourist Safety
International Dialling
Public Holidays
Tax Refund
Petrol (Gas)
- Air Travel
- Rail Travel
- Intercity Bus Services
- Coach Tour Services
- Car Hire Companies
The Weather

Tourist Information
northern Cape Tourism authority
Private Bag X5107, Kimberley 8300
Tel 053 833 1434 / 053 832 2657
Fax 053 831 2937
Email northerncapetourism@telkomsa.net

Land Area - 361 830 km2. The largest province in South Africa
Population - ±850 000
Population density - 2 per sq km
Capital City - Kimberley
Major Towns - Calvinia, Colesberg, Kuruman, Springbok and Upington
Languages - Afrikaans, English, Nama, SeTswana and Xhosa

Photographic images
Professional photographic images of the Northern Cape are available from the following studios.

the tourism blueprint karoo images
The Tourism Blueprint
Karoo Images


Please note that the images will be charged for.


Tourist Safety
Though the Northern Cape is a safe haven for tourists, we urge you to take the same precautions you would in any other city or town. Avoid the unnecessary display of valuables and do not walk in deserted places or go out alone at night.

International dialling

The international dialling code for South Africa is 027. The first 0 in the local dialling code falls away eg. 053 833 1434 becomes 027 53 833 1434.

Public Holidays
New Year’s Day 1  January
Human Rights Day 21 March
Good Friday  25 March
Family Day  28 March
Freedom Day 27 April
Workers Day 1  May
Youth Day 16 June
National Women’s Day 9 August
Heritage Day 24 September
Day of Reconciliation 16 December
Christmas Day 25 December
Day of Goodwill  26 December

Most banks are open Mon-Fri 09h00-15h30 & Sat 09h00-11h00. Autobanks are found in bigger towns.

Tax Refund
Visitors to South Africa are not exempt from paying VAT (Value-added Tax) on bought goods. However, tourists can claim back the VAT paid on items, with a total value exceeding R250, that they take out of the country with them.

Petrol (Gas)
Though widely available at most towns, we recommend filling up before travelling long distances. On major routes and in bigger towns, petrol stations are open day and night.

Kimberley has air and rail links with most major South African cities. The airport is eight kilometres out of town and there is no bus shuttle into or out of town. Major car hire companies, however, have rental kiosks at the airport. A taxi service is available on request. Tel 053 861 4015 or 053 842 1764. The capital city’s railway station is in Florence Street, close to the city centre. The luxurious Blue Train and Rovos Rail travels from Pretoria to Cape Town via Johannesburg and Kimberley, where passengers can board or disembark. The Kimberley Tram Service - a vintage tram dating to the turn of the century, carries passengers from the City Hall to the Mine Museum from 09h00-16h00 daily. Tickets are sold on the tram. Tel 053 832 7298. Upington also has air links with all major cities in South Africa.

Air Travel

SA Airlink

Headquarters - Johannesburg
Tel: +2711 451 7300
Website: www.flyairlink.com
Email: info@flyairlink.com

Kimberley: (Handled by SA Express Airways)
Tel: +053 838 3337

Tel: +054 332 2161

Rail Travel
Tel 053 838 2709/838 2731
Shosholoza Meyl Tel 053 838 2731/2631

De Aar:  
Tel 053 632 8204
Shosholoza Meyl Tel 053 632 8204

Intercity Bus Services
Big Sky Coaches Tel 053 832 2006
Intercape Tel 053 832 6040/5  
Greyhound Tel 053 832 6040/5  
Translux Tel 053 832 6040/5

Carstens Bus Service Tel 027 712 1847
Intercape Tel 027 718 1600
Van Wyk’s Bus Service Tel 027 713 8559

Intercape Tel 054 332 6091

Coach Tour Services
Newton Tours Tel 053 833 3540

Car Hire Companies
(All are represented at the airport)
click here for more information

The Weather
A Sun For All Seasons
Though we live in a semidesert, don’t let it fool you into thinking we’ve no plant life. The western areas of the Northern Cape, which includes most of Namakwa, and a small section of the Green Kalahari fall into the winter rainfall area, ie April to September. These two subregions give you breathtakingly beautiful and flamboyantly explosive displays of wild flowers from late July to November.

Not to be outshone by floral splendour, the central and eastern summer rainfall areas unleash majestic, rolling thunderstorms. Booming across the wide plains, they threaten to shred the sky’s dark curtain, their mighty bolts of lightning mercilessly stabbing the earth. Fading swiftly, they melt back into a quiet, cobalt sky. The Northern Cape’s weather is typical of desert and semidesert areas. We live in a large, dry region of fluctuating temperatures and varying topographies.

Our scant annual rainfall (50-400mm) is unreliable and very much lower than evaporation and, in January, afternoon temperatures are usually between 33-36° Celsius. In 1939, at Goodhouse on the Orange River, an all-time high of 47.8° was recorded! Though somewhat unusual, summer temperatures do sometimes top the 40° mark. Winter days are warm - the onset of night bringing dew and frost to supplement our low rainfall. Sutherland, in the Hantam Karoo, is one of the coldest towns in southern Africa. Its average minimum is -6°! In winter, snow often blankets its surrounding mountains. In general, though, take it that you’ll enjoy hot summer days, warm company and chilly nights.


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