Colesberg is located on the main N1 road approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town at the foot of Coleskop. This makes it the ideal stopover place when traveling between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
In a sheep-farming area spread over half-a-million hectares, greater Colesberg breeds many of the country’s top merinos. It is also renowned for producing high-quality racehorses and many stud farms, including one owned by the renowned golfer, Gary Player, are nearby.
Colesberg lies in typical Karoo veld and is surrounded by koppies (little hills). The most famous is Coleskop, which can be seen from a distance of over 40km. The curious thing about this koppie is that as you travel towards it, it never seems to get any nearer! When the sun slips to the horizon, brushing the skies with brilliant hues, Coleskop’s former name, Toverberg (Magic Mountain), seems more appropriate.
In 1814, a mission station was built here in the hope of bringing peace to the volatile frontier area of the Cape Colony.
A second mission station, Hepzibah, was built a few kilometers away and the two soon attracted 1 700 Khoisan. In 1829, nervous farmers petitioned for a town to be established and 18 138ha was set aside. The first erven were sold in November 1830 and the town was named after Sir Lowry Cole, then Cape Governor.
Attractions in and around Colesberg include:
– The Colesberg-Kemper Museum. A fine example of 19th century Karoo architecture, it originally was the Colesberg Bank and later the Standard Bank. It now houses fascinating relics of the town’s rich tapestry of history.
– Doornkloof Nature Reserve: On the south-eastern banks of the Vanderkloof Dam, the 9 388ha reserve features kudu, eland, brown hyaena, mountain reedbuck, steenbok, grey duiker, bat-eared fox, aardvark and aardwolf.
About 173 bird species inhabit the area. It also features a 10km stretch of the Seekoei River, one of the most important tributaries of the Orange River. There is a hiking trail, an overnight hut and horse trails available. Tel 051 753 1315.
Exploring the koppies in the area is an archaeological delight. These reveal stone-age artifacts and other interesting fragments of the past.
– The beautifully decorated Anglican Church, designed by Sophia Gray (wife of Bishop Gray), was built in 1854.
– Anglo-Boer War Tour. From November 1899 to February 1900, Colesberg was the southern front of the war. The Information Office offers a tour of Plateau Camp, Suffolk Hill, Grenadier Guard Rock, Memorial Hill and the military cemetery where more than 400 men from 20 regiments are buried. A weekend tour includes a visit to Norvalspont prisoner-of-war camp and cemetery. Tel 051 753 0678.
Colesberg Kemper Museum
– Well-marked hiking and mountain bike trails are open on many farms in the area. Tel 051 753 0678.
– The Dutch Reformed Church, built in 1860 dominates Church Str. The clock tower was built in 1925.
Hiking and Mountain Biking
– Many of Colesberg’s original buildings, in pristine condition, are fine examples of early Karoo architecture. The Information Office will organize a walking tour lasting about three hours.
Learn of the Karoo Nomads, get a grasp of local history, revisit the past in the old cemetery, and visit the town’s churches and many of its original reed-ceilinged, yellowwood beamed homes where you will enjoy the unique Karoo.
|Country name||South Africa|