When to Go

By South African standards the Northern Cape's climate is exceptionally hot in summer (late November–February), often rising to above 35°C (95°F). It's hottest in Kimberley and just about intolerable in Upington and the Kalahari. Conversely, the region can get seriously cold in winter (mid-May–early August), commonly dropping below 0°C (32°F) at night. In fact, the province has the dubious honor of being home to the hottest town in South Africa in summer (Upington) and the coldest in winter (Sutherland, in the Karoo), so come prepared to sweat or shiver (mostly by night). Any other time of year is fine, though. The best time to see the flowers in Namaqualand is usually between the middle of August and the end of September, depending on when and how much rain has fallen. The weather is generally milder in Namaqualand than in the rest of the province. Other dates to be aware of: the four-day Gariep Annual Festival (Gariep means "orange" in Tsetswana, the language of the Tswana people) in September. Sporting events also bring crowds to Kimberley, but dates change annually.

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