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 Green Kalahari Region of the Northern Cape, South Africa

Green Kalahari Region

The regions of the Northern Cape

     Acknowledgements: Northern Cape Tourism Authority (NCTA)

This is one of the Northern Cape’s most diverse landscapes, with semi desert areas adjacent to the Orange River and the green rows of vineyards that grow in the valley that the river supports. The river has always been the life blood of the region and since 1884. It has been used to irrigate the land alongside.

It is in this region that visitors will find the Augrabies Falls National park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park -- South Africa’s first transfrontier park. Apart from the fantastic landscapes and wildlife to explore in the parks there are also scenic routes to follow and explore, including the Orange River Wine Route, the Red Dune Route and the Roaring Kalahari Route.

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Towns in the Green Kalahari

Mier Area
The area includes Andriesvale, Askham, Rietfontein, Philandersbron, Loubos, Klein Mier, Groot Mier, Welkom, Askham and Noenieput and lies 200km (124 miles) north of Upington on Route 360. The entrance to the Kgagaladi National Park is another 75km (46 miles) northward. One of the most striking features of the area are dunes that reach up to 35m (114 feet) in height.

The Khomani San people of the region developed their community around the local school that was built in 1931 and around the Dutch Reformed Church. They make and sell authentic San artwork and curios such as bows and arrows, animal skin bags and beads that they fashion from Ostrich Egg shells.

Khoisan People of the Kalahari

Khoisan People of the Kalahari

Attractions:

Postmasburg
The area includes Beeshoek and is located 170km (105 miles) east of Upington. It was founded in 1892 by Rev J.Postma.

Attractions:

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Danielskuil
The town lies 60km (37 miles) east of Postmasburg at the foot of the Kuruman Hills. Its name may have been influenced by a natural limestone crater that reminded the early settlers of the Biblical story of Daniel. Loosely translated the name means Daniel’s Den.

Attractions

Groblershoop
Groblershoop is located 120km (74 miles) southeast of Upington on the N8 highway.

Attractions

Orange River Winelands

Vineyards in the Orange River Valley, Northern Cape
[Photo: Orange River Cellars]

Kakamas
The town lies 80km (50 miles) south west of Upington on the N14 highway. The name of Kakamas is attached to legends. Some believe the name was derived from the Khoi word ‘Gagamas’ meaning ‘brown’. Others believe it is the Koranna word for ‘poor pasture’ or ‘vicious charging ox’. They tell a story of the cattle that ate the poor grass and then became violent and turned on their owners/drivers. However today the same land is graced with vineyards (raisins and table grapes), cotton and lucerne fields.

Attractions:

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Keimoes
Located 40km (25 miles) southwest of Upington on the N14 highway is a settlement found on the largest island on the lower Orange River. This is a great little town for any foodie as visitors drive from vineyard to vineyard. Local chefs offer up home baked breads and deserts washed down with locally produced wines.

Attractions:

Kenhardt
Located 115km (71 miles) south of Upington on Route 27, there is a Quiver Tree Forest nearby and tours take visitors to farms near town to view San artwork.

Attractions:

Upington
This is the central town for the region and is found 820km (508 miles) north of Cape Town and 875km (542 miles) west of Johannesburg. It was founded in 1871 and named after the first Attorney General of the Cape, Sir Thomas Upington.

It is reached by road or air from most parts of South Africa and often acts as a stopover for visitors travelling to the Augrabies Falls National Park, the Fish River Canyon and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Kenhardt Farmstall, Green Kalahari

Farmstall at Kernhardt, Green Kalahari, Northern Cape

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