The Northern Cape is out newest addition to our provincial photography map, welcome! Having not really thought about it until now, we shot first in the Western Cape, then Mpumalanga, then Gauteng, then the Eastern Cape, and now finally the Northern Cape. So glad to have five out of nine provinces down, only four to go. I have feeling Kwa-Zulu Natal is next, then the Free State, then the last two, but time will tell…
Getting back to the subject at hand, the Northern Cape is tremendous. A much drier version of what Montana is to the US – namely, sparsely populated, big spaces, clean air, and cold at night! My slender sidekick and I managed to zoops through to Kimberley from Joburg for a night, experience some unexpected rain in early winter, and then head down to Victoria West way for a night in the Central Karoo.
After a week of work in Joburg the expansive views were such a calming sight, and two nights in the Karoo very peaceful to the soul. We managed to photograph two sweet spots along the way (there was little time, as this was more of a road trip than a work trip) and Lemoenfontein Game Lodge, and Gamagadi Guest Farm were both such a delight. Those small places in faraway spaces still have that old-world charm and relaxed way of life that immediately sets you at ease and I found myself wishing I could stay for much longer than a night or two. Luckily, I do think I can return this winter on… road trip #4! If you’ve missed the previous instalments, I do fancy a photographic road trip every 4-6 months, for my sanity. And for my clients.
Details aside, let’s get more practical. I do think about the Hyperloop while driving down the N1. How old Musk would be such a legend if he could test it out in our country, what with all the space we have here. The last morning of our time in the Karoo we heard news that the N1 was blocked due to a head on collision resulting in five people’s deaths. What was more tragic is that this happens every day. We literally passed a sign saying the roads record for no accidents was exactly one day. Never two, never mind more than that…
With all that space, and desert, and fresh air, and modern technology and whatwhat one thinks that in times to come we could do amazing things with these expansive areas. Far better things than frack the earth and make politicians richer, and the land poorer. I do hope and pray that all these stunning little towns that are probably overlooked and unheard can grow and flourish and be desirable one day. As of right now, I was very happy to be speeding (not literally) back to Cape Town where the May rains had finally started to arrive.
As for the Northern Cape, yes, I do wish to return in future, and maybe do some soul searching in the quiet valleys close to Beaufort West. But I also hope that I take the Garden Route option next time and go up via some old pass to meet the Karoo that way, and completely avoid the N1.
Note: Image courtesy of the Northern Cape Wikipedia post, seen here