Driving along the N14 across the Northern Cape between Upington and Springbok, stop for a moment and look out over the endless horizons and stillness of the desert. Here one gets a real sense of how large South Africa is, pausing in countryside that has barely changed in thousands of years. Although stark and deserted, the emptiness has a certain beauty. The first part of the journey is particularly striking as the road follows the Gariep (Orange) River, with its band of lush vegetation along either bank. The highlight in this region is a visit to the dramatic waterfall in Augrabies Falls National Park. Once in Springbok, you will have arrived in Namakwa (Namaqualand), the name given to the arid northwest corner of the Northern Cape, starting in the south at the Doorn River bridge near Klawer and extending north to the Namibian border. The area is best known for its magnificent wild flowers, which transform the barren, rocky countryside every spring. The regional centre is Springbok, the most viable base for exploring the area.
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