Northern Cape Road Trip: Upington to Port Nolloth

I am sharing our recent adventures on our road trip to Cape Town in March. I did 1800 kilometres with my four kids on a solo road trip, most of it through the Northern Cape. A solo parenting road trip is not new to us. We’ve been doing this for a  couple of years already. We have learnt loads of road trip lessons but we are finally at a point where we can hit the road and do this for five days, just the four kids and I. The first part of our trip was to Kimberley where we visited the Big Hole. Day Two takes us from Kimberley to Upington.

Day Two

family-road-trip

Upington

It was a long way to go with really not much to see except landscape changes and endless kilometres of land and road. We arrived in Upington four hours after leaving Kimberley. It was my first time there. As we drove into the little town in the middle of nowhere I was amazed at how clean it was

The heat of the Northern Cape was something I haven’t felt before, and it gets really hot in the Free State. It was humid, and combined with the high temperatures… you want to die.

As soon as we checked in the kids were in the pool. Thank goodness I made sure there was a pool when I was booking our accommodation.

While the kids swam, I first tried sitting with them on the pretty patio but eventually decided to go lie in the air-conditioned room. The heat was dreadful. Luckily the room looked out on to the pool.

That evening we went for an early dinner and then went to bed early, but not before another much needed swim.

Upington Accommodation

I found the accommodation on Booking.com and was welcomed by a really friendly host. The room was small, given we are five people but really comfortable, neat and clean. The most important thing here was the air conditioner and that worked really well. We had full wifi and some DSTV Channels, not all. We stayed at Gemütlich B&B

Day Three

Me any my two middle kids

Augrabies Falls

I decided to take the detour because who doesn’t want to stop and see Augrabies Waterfalls. Once we stopped the heat was unbearable. We took the short hike under the Kalahari sun and it was so hot. I had to remind the kids who was the granny there. If there was any awards for moaning, they would all get gold. My goodness.

Once we reached the first viewing platform their attitudes changed quickly. They loved it. Even Nika, she didn’t go too close to the edge but they all loved it. All that water in the middle of a desert, from what seemed like just rocks and sand. To be honest, at that point I just wanted to jump into that water. It was that hot.

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the kids at augrabies

We had to walk to all three platforms and view the main falls from all angles, I mean we’d come that far. The kids were happy once I told them we are going to buy some juice and water. The walk back was a little longer, steeper and hotter but we made it. Red faces and all. As soon as we got our drinks, snacks and souvenirs we were happy to get back into the air conditioned car. We still had a long way to go and time wasn’t waiting for anyone.

Pofadder

pofadder northern cape

Off cause we had to stop at the Pofadder sign and take a photo. Two of the four kids were sleeping so they will have to go back there one day to have their pictures taken at the little town’s iconic sign. The rest of the town was so small and for the first time I realised some towns in South Africa actually still have dirt roads. Most of the houses had their own windmill in the back or front yard. It was the strangest thing ever.

Our next stop on our Northern Cape road trip was Springbok. We were starving and at that point I felt like having something familiar so we stopped at Wimpy.  It was a good burger. Wimpy never seems to disappoint.

Our 140 kilometres felt endless but at the same time it went by quite quick. We drove from sunny blue skies into misty and cloudy skies. I saw the temperatures drop in a matter of minutes and the rocky red landscape changed into white sand covered with patches of grass.

Port Nolloth

I have no words for this little Northern Cape village. This little fisherman’s town is basically off the map but I’m not sure why. It is beauty, but spelt in a complete different way. The water was icy, the wind chilly and the skies were grey, but the kids still had to put their feet into the water. We walked along the beautiful beach and saw so many beautiful seashells.

Port Nolloth Accommodation

Our accommodation was the cutest little white house, within walking distance to the beach. The road to it was covered in sand. It was like a picture from a movie scene. I found these cute little white houses on the Lekker Slaap Website

We stayed at Dis Al self catering accommodation  The accommodation reminded me of the little self-catering bungalows we use to stay in as a kid. Nothing fancy but clean, neat and providing everything you need. I completely forgot to switch off the alarm when we arrived so the entire town knew when we arrived. There was no wifi or DSTV.

We went for a nice dinner on the beach front at the cutest little place called Vespetti and the owner came over and chatted to us like she had known us for years. Port Nolloth is such a friendly little town.

Why Did We Choose This Route

I chose to travel this route from the Free State to Cape Town, doing a road trip through the Northern Cape and down the West Coast of South Africa for one simple reason. Because we’ve never done it before. We always drive through the Karoo, but this time the Kalahari was calling my name. I am already planning our next trip.

Follow the journey as I share it, just in case you find yourself in my shoes and need to hit the road and have a little fun. Why should the holiday only begin once you arrive? Let the fun begin from the moment you set off. I hope you enjoyed this insight into our Northern Cape road trip from Kimberley to Upington to Port Nolloth. If you missed our trip via Kimberley, do check it out.

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