vast and arid Northern Cape is by far the largest province,
slightly bigger than Germany and taking up nearly a third of
South Africa's land area. Yet it has the country's smallest
around 1-million people, and an extremely roomy population
density of three people per square kilometre.
The province lies to the south of its most important asset, the
mighty Orange River, which feeds the agriculture and alluvial
diamonds industries. The river forms the border with the country
of Namibia in the north, while the Molopo River is at the border
with Botswana to the northeast.
The Northern Cape landscape is characterised by vast arid plains
with outcroppings of haphazard rock piles.
The cold Atlantic Ocean forms the western boundary.
About 68% of the population speak Afrikaans, with other
languages being Setswana, isiXhosa and English.
Apart from a narrow strip of winter rainfall area along the
coast, the province is a semi-arid region with little rainfall
in summer. The weather conditions are extreme - cold and frosty
in winter, with extremely high temperatures in summer.