Perhaps the least visited provence in South Africa is the Northern Cape. The Northern Cape is the largest and most desolate region of South Africa and is home to a large part of the Kalahari desert. While most tourists cling to the costal regions or visit the national parks in the east, the Northern Cape has many attractions which are only discovered by more adventurous travelers.
The capital of Northern Cape is Kimberly. It is also the headquarters of the De Beers diamond cartel and world’s largest hand dug hole known as…The Big Hole. It was created in the 19th Century by diamond miners who dug down by pick and shovel. Today The Big Hole is a tourist attraction. There is a viewing platform which will let you look down into the hole and there are also helicopter tours available.
One of the most impressive things I’ve seen during my travels was a live game capture at the Mattanu Privage Game Reserve. Here they breed rare species of deer and antelope to help bring them back from the brink of extinction. The animals are sold to other game preserves where they can continue and expand breeding programs. The wild animals have to be captured alive and unharmed for transport. This involves a trained veterinarian flying in a helicopter with a tranquilizer gun. Once an animal is tranquilized, they have only a few minutes to gather it up and put it in a trailer before the tranquilizer wears off. The survival rate for this process is almost 100%.