Vioolsdrif is a village on the Orange River in Namaqualand. It is the official border post to Namibia.
The area surrounding Vioolsdrift is almost unpopulated. There are small pockets of fertile alluvial soil along the course of the river and these are used for growing crops, such as dates and melons, under irrigation.
The name in Afrikaans means ‘the ford (shallow river crossing) of the violin’. It is reportedly named after Jan Viool (“John Violin”), who is said to have played the fiddle in these parts in the nineteenth century.
Some say he was a Nama man, who used to guide ox-wagons across the ford. An accomplished player, he would fiddle away merrily on the river bank while waiting for wagons to arrive.
Vioolsdrift is the ideal stop-over for travelers en route to the Richtersveld and Namibia.
The town has several campsites and motels for motorists passing through the border. Many tour operators have set up their base camps for rafting tours on the Orange River.
Attractions in Vioolsdrift include:
– There are many river rafting trips along the Orange and through the Richtersveld that start here.
– Stunning rock stratum and petroglyphs can be viewed.
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