The Northern Cape is one of the nine provinces of South Africa.
Area: 361,830 Km2 (29.7% of South Africa) The Northern Cape is the largest province.
Population at 2001 census: 822,726 (1.8% of South Africa) The Northern Cape is the least populous province.
Population density: 2.27 people per Km2. Being both the largest and the least populous, the Northern cape is easily the least-densely populated province.
Proportion of national GDP (2001): 2.1%. The Northern
Cape has the lowest contribution to the GDP, due to the small population size.
Per capita GDP (2001): R18 242. The per-capita GDP is not particularly low.
Languages: Afrikaans, Setswana, isiXhosa, English
Borders with provinces: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, North-west province.
Borders with countries: Namibia, Botswana
The Northern Cape is one of the four coastal provinces.
Before 1994 the Northern Cape was part of the Cape Province.
As you can see from the statistics above, the Northern Cape is big empty place, mostly arid plains, from the Kalahari desert in the north to the Karoo semi-desert in the interior. Low-density sheep farming takes place in the interior. Important sheep-farming towns are Upington, Colesberg, Kenhardt and Prieska. The Orange river which forms the northern border on the lower part of its course provides water for irrigated agriculture of grapes, fruit and other crops. Kimberly is a centre of diamond mining since the late 1800s. Aluvial diamonds are found along the coast. Iron and Copper are also mined.
Sutherland is the coldest place in South Africa, and because of its clear air and isolation from man-made light, is the site of the South African Astronomical Observatory.
The coastline is on the cold Atlantic side of South Africa, and by the time it reaches Namibia it is called the Skeleton Coast for the rough seas and dry land.
Tourists will be interested in the national parks. The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park joins onto conservation areas in Botswana, forming two million hectares of nature reserve. The Augrabies Falls on the Orange river is also an attraction. A few San (Bushman) tribesmen still live in the Kalahari.
The nine provinces of South Africa are Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Gauteng, North-West Province, Mpumalanga, Limpopo