Koffiefontein is situated in the Grassy Karoo, otherwise also known as the “False Karoo” and is just one of the historic little towns that pepper a landscape dominated by grass and distant mountains. It is also one of those South African towns, like so many, that are named something “fontein”, in this case the town name means “Coffee Fountain”. As you enter the town one is faced with a rather unique coffee can fountain, complete with cup and saucer, and which only works sometimes but when it does, it's rather charming!
Apart from the town fountain, Koffiefontein is also well-known for sheep farming and its’ active diamond mine. There is plenty of history to explore in Koffiefontein from San Rock Art to WWII Mural and the famous SA Author, Ettienne Le Roux who wrote 'Magersfontein, O Magersfontein!' that created such a stir it was banned a year after publication, is buried on his farm Ja-Nee just outside town which you can see as you drive into town.
But what this typical little Free State town is really all about is its incredible hospitality, a place to stop for a cup of coffee and experience just how laid back life can be!
A variety of accommodation can be found in nearby towns.
Things to do and see
- Kalkfontein Dam Nature Reserve
- Coffee Pot Fountain
- Open Air Museum
- WWII Murals
- De Beer Diamond Mine Lookout Post
Koffiefontein receives approximately 404 mm of rain annually. The town receives little rain throughout the year.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 31˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 9˚C and 24˚C.
As the town name implies, Koffiefontein started out as a “coffee stop”, a fountain in this area was a favourite outspan, for transport riders from Kimberley to the Free State in the 19th century. The riders' habit of constantly making coffee is said to have led to the name Koffiefontein.
Around 1880 one of these riders found a diamond, and Koffiefontein quickly turned from a rest stop into a town. This prompted the usual diamond rush and by 1882 Koffiefontein was a booming town with four mining companies. Ten years later the miners' camp was proclaimed a town and the name Koffiefontein was retained.
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