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Kokerboom Food and Wine Route


Features

   Accommodation

Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Aloe View Guesthouse
This guesthouse offers accommodation in three en-suite rooms with air-conditioner, DSTV, coffee and tea facilities. Othe...

Akkerboom Guesthouse
Die Akker Guesthouse offers accommodation with spectacular views of the vineyards.

Bushmanland Crafts
Kenhardt, the oldest town in the lower Orange River is one of a kind. She offers peace, friendly people and a warm welco...

De Oude Herberg Country Lodge
For the best accommodation in Kenhardt visit De Oude Herberg Country Lodge. We are situated on the edge of town –...

Die Vlei Camping
Die Vlei offers camping facilities.

Eiland Guest Farm
Eiland Guest Farm offers accommodation in a farmhouse with four bedrooms, one bathroom with a shower, an open plan kitch...

Karsten Guesthouse
A comfortable guesthouse in Pella.

Kei Casa Guesthouse
Kei Casa, a 4-star TGCSA guesthouse in Keimoes, offers not only comfort, luxury and elegance, but also affordable accomm...

Klein Pella Guest Farm
A comfortable guesthouse located on a beautiful date farm in Pella.

African Vineyard Guesthouse
African Vineyard Guesthouse is nestled in a lush landscape of vineyards at Kanoneiland, Northern Cape. A mere 30 minute...

Blocuso Trust Daycamping
Blocuso Trust offers daycamping with the following facilities: Campsite with a kitchen; Bathroom facilities; and Sh...

De Werf - Lodge
Accommodation: De Werf welcomes you with grand archways to beautifully designed guestroom retreats. Each of our 18 en-s...

Belurana Boutique Hotel
Belurana Boutique Hotel consists of two guesthouses, namely Victoria Manor and Bridge River House. Victoria Manor is a 4...

Aan't Kanaal B&B
Aan’t Kanaal B&B opened its doors in January 2005 after some extensive renovation of an old house dating back...

Bain's House
This charming guesthouse features a tropical garden and outdoor pool with views over the Orange River Valley. 

Dundi Lodge
Dundi Lodge is conveniently situated 3km from the world famous Augrabies Falls and offers visitors all its untamed magni...

Ikaia B&B and Camping
Accommodation: Two double en-suite rooms (1 x double bed per suite) and 4 x double en-suite rooms with kitchenette (s...

Kalahari Gateway Hotel and Conference Centre
The Kalahari Gateway Hotel and Conference Centre is located in the centre of the town of Kakamas in the Northern Cape.&n...

Kambro-Kind Guesthouse
Kambro-Kind Guesthouse offers accommodation in a characteristic old house with origin pine floors and ceilings. The atmo...

Keimoes Hotel
This historical and vintage hotel was established in the early 1930's and was one of the first hotels established along...

Khamkirri Private Game Reserve
Khamkirri's river camp base is located on the northern bank of the Orange River near Augrabies in the Northern Cape&rsqu...

Lake Grappa Guest Farm and Ski School
Discover this little piece of unspoiled heaven for total body, mind and soul relaxation tucked away in the heart of the...

Orange River Wine Cellars - Upington
Orange River Wine Cellars offers an extensive range of dry white wine, natural sweet and dry red wine, as well as desser...

Ou Skool Guesthouse
Ou Skool Guesthouse offers corporate and leisure visitors ideal accommodation, conference- and events facilities. Facil...

Port Nolloth Backpackers
A charming bed and breakfast situated on the beachfront in McDougall's Bay. They also offer backpacker facilities. Pleas...

The Falls Guesthouse
The Falls Guesthouse is situated on the doorstep of the world famous Augrabies Waterfalls National Park in the North Wes...

The Schroder Guesthouse and Schroderhuis Coffee Shop
Settle beneath crisp, white linen surrounded by elegance and grace and wake up to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee and...

Oranjerus Resort
Oranjerus is a resort that lies next to the Orange River. They are both a final destination i.e getaway/holiday or a sto...

TKabies Camping
TKabies camping is situated on a working raisin farm. Facilities: Graded three stars; 10 Campsites with electricity...

Vergelegen Guesthouse, Restaurant, Coffee Shoppe and Cocktail Lounge
Vergelegen Guesthouse & Restaurant is nestled in the Orange River Valley within a splendid farm setting on the outsk...

Riemvasmaak Eco-Tourism Project (Hot Springs)
Riemvasmaak (pronounced ‘rim fus maack’) means ‘tighten the strap’ or ‘tied with straps&rs...

Kalahari Water Holiday & Adventure Farm
Kalahari Water Holiday & Adventure Farm is situated on a vineyard farm 4km from Keimoes on one of the paradise islan...

   Activities

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Die Mas Wynkelder/Wine Cellar
Die Mas Wine Cellar produces export table grapes, raisins and wine grapes in buld and our own private wine cellar and br...

Kalahari Outventures
Kalahari Outventures is the leading tour operator in the Northern Cape offering advanced personalised outventures. Young...

Orange River Wine Cellars - Kakamas
Orange River Wine Cellars offers an extensive range of dry white wine, natural sweet and dry red wine, as well as desser...

Orange River Wine Cellars - Keimoes
Orange River Wine Cellars offers an extensive range of dry white wine, natural sweet and dry red wine, as well as desser...

Riemvasmaak Tourism Guide
Lional is a local guide and will gladly take visitors to explore the area.

Bezalel Wine & Brandy Estate
Bezalel Wine & Brandy Estate is an undiscovered gem in the Lower Orange River Valley of the Northern Cape. Our small...

Augrabies Hot Air Ballooning
Soar above the rugged landscape of the lower Orange River Valley, taking in the extensive vineyards and their lifeblood,...

   Arts & Crafts

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Crystal Spring Minerals
Crystal Spring Minerals sells a variety of unique rocks, stones and stonemade items. Items for sale: Sterling silver...

Keimoes Arts, Crafts and Coffee Shop
Visit Keimoes Arts, Crafts and Coffee Shop for a variety of crafts.

Maria M Fine Art / Vrouenspan Kaasmakery
Facilities: Paintings for sale; They offer cheese tasting by appointment.

   Environment

Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Brabees Nursery
Brabees Nursery is one of the oldest nurseries in the country and has been operating since 1955. Items for sale: A v...

Karsten Farms (Roepersfontein)
Piet and Babsie Karsten started farming in 1968 on Kanoneiland, an island in the Orange River, west of Upington. In 1980...

Augrabies Falls National Park
The Augrabies Falls National Park is the site of the Augrabies Falls or ‘the place of great noise’ (which is...

Koms Quiver Tree Nursery
Koms Nursery offers a protected species of flora - the Quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma, Aloe pillansii, Aloe ramosissima) fo...

Orange River Wine/Grape Juice Cellar
In order to ensure full financial management of the supply chain of white grape juice concentrate from the producer to t...

   Food & Drink

Below is a list of restaurants and other food and beverage outlets on this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Akkerboom Farmstall
Akkerboom Farmstall was originally an old farm house that is located on the family farm Akkerboom. The owners kept the o...

Die Pienk Padstal
It is pink, it is prominent, it is the place for postcard pictures. It is Die Pienk Padstal, and it never fails in putti...

Oma Miemie's Farmstall and Accommodation
Oma Miemie’s Farmstall is a treasure of a find in the Northern Cape town of Kenhardt. A wide selection of marmalad...

Yanuck Coffee Shop
Yanuck, is located in Kakamas main road, opposite the primary school. Set on a big property with an old house, green law...

   Services

Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Kalahari Vleishuis
This establishment is the perfect stop on route towards Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tranfrontier Park and the West Coast. I...

Keimoes Information Centre and Farmstall
The Keimoes Information Centre provides information about the local area.  They also sell a variety of homemade goo...

Red Sun Dried Fruit and Nuts
Red Sun Raisins is proud to be located in Keimoes, a lush, green oasis 40km Southwest of Upington on the Orange River. A...

 

Overview
Events
History
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In the Northern Cape of South Africa, where the Kalahari and the Nama-Karoo deserts meet, the Great Gariep River (Orange River) flows, bringing life to the typically arid worlds on both sides, and turning the area into an oasis. It is here that travellers can experience the Kokerboom Route.

The route takes the traveller into one of the most interesting and beautiful areas of South Africa’s Northern Cape Province and embraces the towns and settlements of Keimoes, Kanoneiland, Kenhardt, Augrabies, Upington and Marchand. The Kokerboom Food and Wine Route has something for everyone.

The route is located in an arid zone, with stifling hot summers (up to 45°C) and chilly winter nights. The Great Gariep, known more commonly as the Orange River, winds through the landscape and brings it life. This river was once called 'God’s gift to the Southern African thirstland'. The greenbelt along the river’s banks contrasts sharply with the rising rocky cliffs. Irrigation schemes have stretched the greenbelt into the desert, making acres of vineyards and other agriculture possible. Ten percent of South Africa’s vineyards are found in the Orange River valley and southern Kalahari.

Reasons to visit

In addition to visiting the popular Augrabies Falls visitors can relax in hot springs, river raft, go on 4x4 trips, hike, bird watch, sample local delicacies and wines, touch the unique Kokerboom (quiver tree) and even take a leisurely donkey cart ride through town - all while enjoying the friendly hospitality of South Africa’s Northern Cape province.

The Kokerboom (Quiver tree) is a botanical symbol of that part of the world, and so the route finds its name. Along the route one can experience dry, rugged mountains, desert adapted animal and plant life, red Kalahari dunes, stifling summer temperatures during the day and freezing desert temperatures at night. 

Contrasting this typically dry, desert scene, are the water features found in the area. A key natural wonder of the area is the Augrabies Falls. This waterfall, the 6th largest waterfall in the world, is a definite must-see. Other noteworthy attractions include the hot springs at Riemvasmaak, Augrabies Falls National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Dried fruit is a thriving crop of the area, particularity saltanas and dates. Irrigation schemes have turned the desert into the greenbelt, making acres of vineyards and other agriculture possible. 10% of South Africa’s vineyards (23.5million vines) are found in the Orange River valley and southern Kalahari. The area is known for its agriculture and interested travellers can see the longest line of date palms in the southern hemisphere, operating waterwheels and irrigation tunnels build by Cornish miners in as early as 1922.

Alongside natural and agricultural features, the route boasts a number of historical sites, museums and attractions including the German graves in Kakamas, Klipspringer and Gorge Walking Trail at Augrabies Falls National Park, Orange River gorge canoe trails, water rafting and hiking, game-viewing, bird watching, 4x4 trails/tours (self-drive or guided), extreme sports, mountain biking, historical and photographic tours and scenic flights.

Upington Show 
When:
  2015 dates TBC
Where:  Upington    
Tel:  +27 54 331 2105
Mob:  +27 82 555 4485
Fax:  +27 54 331 2104
Email:  upingtonexpo@telkomsa.net
Entertainment in the form of motorcycles, acrobats, dog show, magicians, entertainment for youngsters, bring and braai and good singers.
Please note: Users are kindly advised to check with the listed contacts for any late amendment(s) to the event information.

Kalahari Kuierfees
When:
2015 dates TBC
Where:  Upington
Tel: +27 54 332 1100
The Kalahari Kuierfees is held in Upington in the Northern Cape, South Africa. This is an annual event which is popular amongst locals and visitors from all over the country. It celebrates the Afrikaans language and boasts over 30, 000 guests each year.

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon
When:
 30 Oct - 9 November 2014    
Where:  Augrabies    
Contact Person:  Estienne & Nadia Arndt
Tel:  +27 44 690 3420
Fax:  +27 86 609 7755
Mob: +27 83 254 4824 (Estienne) / +27 83 309 7755 (Nadia)
Email:  nadia@extrememarathons.com  or estienne@extrememarathons.com 
Website: www.extrememarathons.com
This is an extreme self-sufficiency challenge with six legs in seven days carrying all your own food and equipment. Qualifying race for the Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc.
Please note: Users are kindly advised to check with the listed contacts for any late amendment(s) to the event information.

Kalahari Desert Festival
When:
 2015 dates TBC
Where: Askham, Northern Cape
Tel: +27 53 832 2156 / +27 53 831 3794/
Email: info@kalaharidesertfestival.org 
The Kalahari Desert Festival is the convergence of dance, music, culture, and history beneath the Kalahari’s towering red dunes. It is flagship festival hosted by South Africa’s very own ‡Khomani San and celebrates the rich diversity of indigenous groups through the arts.

Upington

In 1870, a Hottentot chieftain called Klaas Lucas, realising the value of being able to read and write, and knowing that the missionaries could help his people acquire these skills, appealed for the establishment of a mission station at Olyfenhoutsdrift (ford at the olivewood trees).  The Reverend Christiaan Schröder was sent up from Cape Town, and permission to establish the Olyfenhoudsdrift Mission was secured from Klaas Pofadder, who claimed ownership of the area.  The foundations were laid in 1873 and building followed.  Pioneer settlers such as Japie Lutz and the Reverend Schröder were quick to realise the irrigation possibilities along the Orange River.  They hand dug the first irrigation canals in 1880 and some of them are still in use today.  Since then, the once small mission station has grown rapidly and become the commercial, agricultural and educational center of the Gordonia district, today known as Upington. The district was named after Sir Gordon Sprigg, a former prime minister of the Cape Colony.

Upington is an oasis surrounded by the harsh Kalahari landscape; a fertile place that offers travellers a peaceful and pleasant stopover. Upington is surrounded by vast red-orange sand plains and semi-desert, and through it runs the lush Orange River valley.  More than ten percent of South Africa’s vineyards, or 23.5 million vines, are cultivated along the lower Orange River.  Upington can best be described as a Kalahari Town and an ‘emerald oasis’ on the banks of South Africa's biggest River.

Upington is not only the gateway to the main attractions of the Kalahari region, but also has its own gems that make it more of a destination than a stopover. 

Kakamas

There are several tales and theories as to where the name ‘Kakamas’ came from:

'Bad grazing': Before the canals and irrigation schemes were built, the area was notorious for its poor grazing pastures;

'Angry, charging cow'or 'chasing cows': This may derive from the Korana word ‘//ka-gamas’, which could have become associated with the town because the river banks nearby had sloping banks making it an easy crossing place for cattle herds. Most herds were, of course, reluctant to enter the river, and apparently would turn on their herdsmen. Another interpretation is that a fierce buffalo cow stormed the herders when they were driving their cattle through the drift;

'Thakemas' meaning 'drink place': This could refer to the ease with which cattle could be herded here to drink; 'Swimming Water': Possibly from the bushman word, given to the place because it is here were it was possible to swim across the large river.

Whatever the meaning, Kakamas developed as a town between the late 1800's and early 1900's.  It was a time of war and world depression and the bitterly poor people from the surrounding areas came to the church in Kakamas for help. They were offered the option to trade their labour for food.  Canals had already been built in the near-by town of Upington and a similar project was proposed for Kakamas.  It was found that, at Neusberg (meaning ‘Nose Mountain’, as it resembles a nose) about 10km from Kakamas, the river’s course was such that, if a canal were built, the water would flow automatically, doing away with the need for pumps.

Work began on the furrows – men, women and children dug relentlessly, manually. Often, the people would work at night to escape the intense heat of the day. Two canals or furrows were eventually completed, called the South and the North canals.  During construction of the North canal, however, it became obvious that two tunnels would have to be built to maintain a gradient that facilitated the automatic water flow. Japie Lütz, from Upington, did the calculations and laid down the necessary measurements. Eventually, the two tunnels were completed. Amazingly, they were both excavated from either side and met precisely – an impressive feat given it was achieved without the use of modern equipment. These hand-dug tunnels, one of them an impressive 160m long, are still in use and have been declared national monuments. A small settlement in the area, Lutzburg, is named after the self-trained engineer who designed the tunnels.

Once the canals and tunnels had been constructed, it was possible for the people to begin farming.  A number of water wheels (some still in use today) were built to lift the water from the canals into pipes for distribution into the fields.  The community began planting food crops, and then expanded operations to include grapes. Originally it was mainly raisin grapes being produced in the area, but these days the area is renowned for its seedless table grapes and its wines.  Because it is so warm in the area, the grapes ripen early and the crops can receive good prices in northern-hemisphere markets.

In the 1960s, the state took over the control of the canals from the church.  The land was divided and private people could acquire it. The first hydroelectric scheme in South Africa was also started in Kakamas – at a place where the North canal dropped rapidly in elevation.  This hydroelectric station is no-longer working, but the building at the scheme and the Egyptian-style transformer building in Kakamas town can still be visited. The two canals were eventually lined with cement in the 1990s.

Keimoes

Many tourists travel through Keimoes en-route to and from Gauteng and Cape Town. Travellers are initially drawn by the Tierberg and the Water Wheel, but little do they realize that this lush green town in the semi desert consists of more than 120 islands – with people actually living on most of them! Keimoes boasts a rich and lively history. When one uses some imagination, it is easy to picture the Korana Chiefs Klaas Lukas and Piet Rooi who used to hide with up to 10 000 stolen livestock on the island maze in the 19th century. That explains the apt name of one of the koppies – Loerberg. Directly translated this means “Mountain from where one can peep”.

The completion of the first water channels in 1883 led to the rapid growth of the settlement. The first school opened in 1887, and the Mission Church and a mill were completed in 1889. Many battles were fought during the first and second Korana Wars with the government forces using canons with great success. Hence, other names like Kanoneiland and Skanskopeiland, meaning ‘Canon Island’ and ‘Barricade Hill Island’ respectively, came about.  Coming and going on the island is dependent on the whims of the Orange River and its varying water levels.

One of the milestones in the history of Keimoes is the installation of a pont at Milldrift in 1907 and Rooikop Island in 1910. From early on grape farming was the backbone of agriculture in and around Keimoes. In the early 1900’s the town was known for its “Keimoes-blits” - an infamous liquor with an even more infamous kick – distilled from hanepoot and crystal grapes.

The islands are linked by a network of suspension bridges. The pupils of Klip Island School have to cross such a bridge every day to get to class; quite a nerve-wracking experience when the river is in flood. At one stage, sixty of these bridges provided the necessary connection for farmers to bring their produce to the markets. If one takes into account that such a bridge can only bear 100 pounds of weight at one stage, it becomes clear that farming and transport of goods between the islands must have been no easy task. The first documented export of produce from Keimoes was for 2000 cases of oranges in 1927. Today, Keimoes is a prime source of table grapes exported to Europe. 

Floods have been part of everyday life for the people of Keimoes. Most memorable were the floods of 1925, 1934, 1974 and 1988.

The name 'Keimoes' means “Big eye”. The two possible explanations given are that it refers to a permanent fountain near the Roman Catholic Mission station, or to the magnificent view of the area from Tierberg. The latter is more widely accepted. Keimoes forms part of the KaiGarip Municipality, which also includes the towns of Kakamas and Kenhardt.

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South Africa - Northern Cape

South Africa - Northern Cape

In the Northern Cape of South Africa, where the Kalahari and the Nama-Karoo deserts meet, the Great Gariep River (Orange River) flows, bringing life to the typically arid worlds on both sides, turning the area into an oasis. It is here that travellers can experience the Kokerboom Food and Wine Route.

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Key Contacts

Name:
Elmarie de Bruin

Mobile: Click here

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food adventure arts-and-craft heritage 4x4

 

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