Springbok is the Gateway to Namibia, only 120 km south of the Namibian border. Springbok is the ideal overnight stop, as it lies halfway between Cape Town and Windhoek.
Springbok is set in a narrow valley bisecting the granite domes of the Klein Koperberge (small copper mountains). Shortened from Springbokfontein in 1911, it owes its existence to copper-mining undertaken after 1850 and a ready supply of water.
In the late 1870s, rich copper deposits at Okiep saw most Springbok residents following their dreams to drought-stricken claims. Many returned.
The British fort built on the hillock in the centre of town during the Anglo-Boer War was destroyed by dynamite planted by a commando led by General Jan Smuts.
Attractions in Springbok include:
– The Blue Mine. Springbok’s first, it includes a walking trail offering views of the town from its western outskirts.
– The Dutch Reformed Church built in 1921.
– Goegap Nature Reserve features most of Namakwa’s natural riches, supporting 600 indigenous flower species, 45 mammal species and 94 bird species.
The Hester Malan Wild Flower Garden showcases many Namakwa succulants and a rock garden. The reserve is open daily from 08h00-16h00.
– The Mineshaft dug in 1685 on Simon van der Stel’s instructions (east of Springbok, at Carolusberg).
– The Monument Koppie in the centre of town commemorates the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).
– Starting at the picturesque Pella Mission Station, the Namakwa 4×4 Route follows the Orange River 642km to the sea. You’ll cross Namakwa Brokenveld, False Succulent Karoo, Arid Karoo, Western Mountain Karoo, Succulent Karoo and Sandveld. There are three routes lasting 2-9 days. Tel 027 712 8035/6.
– The Namaqualand Museum in the old synagogue. Tel 027 718 8100.
– See the town of Concordia
– The Smelting Furnace, to the north of Springbok is a national monument, unused since 1871.
– The War Graves. With those of mining pioneers dating to 1860, they lie in a cemetery on the Kleinzee road.
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