Orania is the only town in the country, since the apartheid era, that is for white residents only. The town offers an example of the traditional Afrikaner way of life and its residents explain that it is a way to remain true to their culture and language and an effort not to lose their Afrikaner way of life!
The town lies on the banks of the Orange River, surrounded by the beautiful Karoo hills and typical upper Karoo veld. Bird watching, fishing and water sports are popular activities because of the towns’ location. Rock paintings are also common in the area surrounding Orania for visitors interested in archaeology.
Museums in Orania boasts various historical items such as the Felix Lategan collection of guns and the original flag Jopie Fourie carried with him while on death row. The Verwoerd collection can be viewed in the home of late Betsie Verwoerd, wife of the former South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd.
Orania has a characteristic architecture, with many Churches to admire and even a home completely made of environmentally friendly straw.
Sink your teeth into traditional vetkoek or enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner along the banks of the river, Orania has a range of quality restaurants and coffee shops. Accommodation includes a variety of Guesthouses, B&B’s and lodges.
Things to do and see
- Cultural History Museum
- Afrikaner Leaders Monument
- Verwoerd Collection
- Koeksister Monument
- Pecan Plantations
- Orania Irrigation Project
Orania receives approximately 334 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 34˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 20˚C.
Orania, originally built for construction workers in 1970 on the impressive Orange River Project, stood empty for years until a group of Afrikaners purchased the town with some surrounding land as a starting point for an Afrikaner settlement and the establishment of an Afrikaner volkstaat.
The town was founded by Carel Boshoff Snr, an Afrikaner intellectual and son-in-law of apartheid architect, Hendrik Verwoerd. Orania was established in 1991 when Mr Boshoff Snr as a registered company shortly before white-minority rule ended in the rest of the country.
Orania officials confirmed the town has had an annual growth rate of nearly 10% since its inception.
Mr Boshoff Jnr, Verwoerd’s grandson, is today one of the leaders on the town council and explains that Orania has proved to be the answer for those Afrikaners who felt displaced in the land their people had ruled for many decades.
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