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A gem in the Northern Cape

As a child, I grew up with a love for the town of Upington in the Northern Cape of South Africa (Nama – Khara Hais). Many warm summer school holidays were spent here on the banks of the Orange River.  If you love extremely hot summer days, I can recommend Upington as the place for you.  Here in Upington, you explore early morning and late afternoon and in the middle of the day, you take a siesta.  This beautiful town and region along the Orange River is countryside at its best.

Upington is bound by the Orange River and the Kalahari Desert.  And this is what makes it unique.  In my opinion, you would never mention or even think of the word “Desert” when walking among the vineyards and lush green surroundings.   

Upington 2

The green belt of mostly vineyards, on either side of the river, is almost like a green ribbon following the water gently flowing along.  You can almost say it is a green oasis in the middle of…well, almost nowhere.  And I say “almost” as the region has quite a lot to offer:  Things to do, places to see and things to taste… 🙂

Upington

The Kalahari-Oranje Museum

Founded in 1873 the town is rich with history and the Kalahari-Oranje Museum is a nice place to stop and learn more about the town.  Items relating to the history of Upington and the Lower Orange River are on display here.  The buildings were built by Reverend Schroder in 1875 as a church and mission station. 

When driving through town you simply cannot miss this museum, with its life-sized statue of the donkey.  This sculpture is a tribute to and acknowledges the unselfish and enormous contribution made by the donkey in developing the Lower Orange River Valley during the pioneer days of the 19th century.

Famous for

Foremost Upington is famous for its wines produced by the Orange River Cellars.  The export wines originate from six depots all on the banks of the Orange River. This includes Kanoneiland, Kakamas, Keimoes, Groblershoop and Grootdrink.

Photo: kanoneiland.co.za

Of course, the town is also known for its export-quality raisins and grapes.  In my opinion, there is no place in the world with better-tasting watermelons and summer sweet melons.  You just have to come and taste it for yourself.

Photo: kakamas.co.za