Cities and towns

Hartswater

Laid out in 1934 as a town serving the northern section of the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme, Hartswater’s growth has been nurtured by its irrigation canals and is surrounded by trees and tracts of fertile ground.

Hondeklip Bay

Formerly a favoured holiday destination for farmers, fishermen and divers, Hondeklip Bay is separated from Springbok by 104km of gravel road, the Messelpad Pass and Soebatsfontein, a quaint village built next to a spring at the foot of the escarpment.

Hondeklip Bay’s harbour, from which copper ore brought by ox-wagon from Springbok was exported before the port was supplanted by Port Nolloth, now serves fishing and diamond-mining boats.

Hopetown

A servant was told it represented hope and made an imitation from tin which was nailed to the farm entrance. In 1866 a diamond, ‘Eureka’, was found and, in 1868, on the farm Zandfontein, the 83,5 carat ‘Star of South Africa’ diamond was discovered. Today, Hopetown is a farming town.

Hotazel

Set on a bush-covered, featureless plain, Hotazel is home to Samancor’s Mamatwan open-quarry manganese ore mine and sinter plant, and Wessels underground manganese ore mine and railway terminus. It offers a swimming pool to take the sting out of its onomatopoeic name, a mashie golfcourse and squash and tennis courts.

Hutchinson

When the discovery of diamonds blazed a trail to the interior, the railway followed it. It bypassed Victoria West by 12km, necessitating a railhead. This developed into a village and was named after Cape Governor, Sir Walter Hely Hutchinson. A branch line was built in 1904.

Kakamas

To some, the town’s name originates from the Khoi word, ‘gagamas’ (brown), referring to the red clay of the area with which women daub their faces. To most, though, Kakamas is a Koranna word meaning ‘poor pasture’ and ‘vicious, charging ox’.

Kamieskroon

South of Springbok, Kamieskroon is set among the granite rock formations of the Kamiesberg range. The town’s origins lie in the 1860s, 7km north of its present position. It took the name Bowesville (later Bowesdorp), after the district surgeon, Dr Henry Bowe.

Kanoneiland

The town is a settlement on the biggest island in the lower Orange River region. Virtually every inch of soil is under irrigation. Enjoy driving between the many vineyards, a spit-roast, home-baked breads, several traditional desserts and locally produced wines.

Kathu

And nothing can prevent the visitor being overawed by the sheer size of one of the world’s largest open-cast iron mines, dwarfing giant ore trucks bearing up to 170 tons of ore each load. Home to one of the country’s most beautiful golf courses and the luxurious Gamagara Lodge, limestone houses characterise a desert landscape hidden by graceful palms. A small, well-stocked game reserve adjoins the town as does the Khai-Appel Pleasure Resort.

Keimoes

The town is a settlement on the biggest island in the lower Orange River region. Virtually every inch of soil is under irrigation. Enjoy driving between the many vineyards, a spit-roast, home-baked breads, several traditional desserts and locally produced wines.

Kenhardt

On 27 December 1868, special magistrate Maximillian Jackson, with a police contingent, was sent to act as a bulwark against the Koranna, whose anti-colonial resistance had erupted into open conflict. Jackson arrived in Kenhardt and set up camp under a giant camelthorn tree.

Kimberley

In 1871, diamond deposits found on a hillock dubbed Colesberg Kopje on the farm Vooruitzicht, owned by the De Beers brothers, led to a mad scramble for fame and fortune and the world’s largest, hand-dug excavation, the colossal Kimberley Mine or Big Hole.

Kleinzee

The Diamond Coast, as the area has become known, holds a beauty and mystique of its own with its cultural diversity and mineral mining. These two towns, and the diamond mines that support them, offer an interesting insight into the lifestyle of the modern miner.

Kuruman

On the Ghaap Plateau 1 131m above sea level, Kuruman is the principal town on the Kalahari section of the Namakwari Route. The origin of the town’s name is uncertain but it is generally accepted as being a variation of the name of an 18th-century San leader, Kudumane. 

Loeriesfontein

Said to have been named after a Jewish travelling salesman named Lurie or alternatively it could be named after the Loerie bird (Turacu corythaix).

Loxton

Originally the farm Phizantefontein, Loxton was bought from AE Loxton by the Dutch Reformed Church in 1899. Built to serve the sheep-farming community, it became a municipality in 1905. In March 1961, three-quarters of the town was destroyed by a flash-flood causing the dam above the town to burst. Loxton has long since recovered.

Mier Area

A pristine southern Kalahari wilderness area with dunes averaging 35m in height - breathtaking scenery you’ll never forget. The municipal area of Mier includes the communities of Rietfontein, Philandersbron, Loubos, Klein Mier, Groot Mier, Welkom, Askham and Noenieput.

Nababeep

North of Springbok, Nababeep’s name combines two Nama words, naba, meaning ‘hump of an animal’ and bib, meaning ‘small spring’. Mining began in the 1850s and, from 1876, ore was taken to Port Nolloth by train, for export. The mine closed during the copper slump of 1919, but reopened in 1937. It is home to the Okiep Copper Company and the region’s largest copper-mining town.

Nieuwoudtville

Between 1700-1740, clashes between trekboers and indigenous people led trekboers to move to the top of the Bokveld escarpment. The town came into being in the late 1800s. On the Bokveld escarpment, Nieuwoudtville is known for its unique vegetation, with the biggest variety of indigenous bulbous plants in the world, and the 100m high Nieuwoudtville Falls on the Doring River.

A small town, its warm, sandstone buildings shelter in a well-treed hollow in a flat landscape covered by wheat, heather and proteas. Eight kilometres west of town, Vanrhyns Pass offers majestic views over the Knersvlakte on the descent to Namakwa’s coastal terrace.