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Kakamas is a small town, west of Upington in the Green Kalahari Region, a fertile valley of the Lower Orange River. The hot and dry climate is perfect for growing grapes, dates and oranges and the valley is graced with beautiful vineyards and cotton and Lucerne fields.
Kakamas is known for its irrigation project where Tunnels, 3-4m high and 2.5m wide, were once dug by hand as part of a farming project and completed in 1911. Many of these fascinating tunnels, still featuring the waterwheels of that period, can be explored by visitors. Another interesting attraction is the Hydro-electrical power station, designed to look like an Egyptian temple. It was completed in 1914 and accommodated the first hydro - electric power station in South Africa.
The town and surrounding area is popular for adventure activities on the Orange River, hiking, fly-fishing and wine tours and the natural landscape in this area is also famous for the distinct and rather bizarre looking ‘kokerboom’ or quiver tree.
Accommodation options in the town include B&B’s, Guesthouses and Farm Stays.
Things to do and see
- Khamkirri MTB Trail
- Riemvasmaak MTB Route
- Riemvasmaak 4X4 Trail
- Augrabies Falls National Park
- Riemvasmaak Hot Springs
- German War Graves
- Desert Raisins Farm Stall
- Die Pienk Padstal
- Wine Tasting & Tours
Kakamas receives approximately 134 mm of rain annually, it is a desert climate with virtually no rainfall during the year.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 36˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 4˚C and 25˚C.
There are local flights into Upington Airport, 95 km away via the N14 and into Kimberley Airport, 490 km away, via the N8. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
The Hottentot Chieftain Klaas Lucas, who gave his first name to the island in the Orange River which is now the centre of the Augrabies Falls National Park, started life as a river pirate and then became devoutly religious.
In 1870 he asked for a missionary to be sent to his people, and this was the beginning of great change in this part of the Orange River. The missionary who answered the call of Klaas Lucas was Christiaan Schroder.
In 1895 he recommended that a settlement of poor people should be made at Kakamas, and this was founded in 1898. Led by Schroder and the Dutch Reformed Church, settlers arrived at Kakamas.
Some believe the town was named after the Khoi word for 'poor pasture', which today poorly reflects on a fertile valley in the lower Orange River, other say the town's name originates from the Khoi word, "gagamas" (brown), referring to the red clay of the area with which women smear their faces.
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