Front Door to Namaqualand
In much the same way as people often refer to places “off the beaten track” as being in Timbuctoo, South Africans often use the name of Pofadder to similar effect when referring to any far away small town.
But, even though Pofadder is not your first thought when it comes to tourist destinations, during spring, when the dry lands come alive with the annual splashes of daisies, the Pofadder region becomes the “front door” to the more northern areas of Namaqualand. The town makes an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area which becomes a carpet of Namaqualand daisies after the first rains.
Before driving straight through Pofadder, stop and visit a few of the old buildings in town like the old Dutch Reformed Church and the old Roman Catholic Church which was built by the mission. Today it is a blockmaking enterprise as well as a chicken farm and a dairy. Pella is only a thirty-minute drive from Pofadder and visiting their Catholic Cathedral and small museum is worth the trip.
Be sure to stop in at the Pofadder Hotel, they know all the good 4 X 4 trails and the local Coffee Shop is a must. The town offers comfortable accommodation and more B&B’s and Guesthouses can be found in the neighbouring towns or lodges in the area.
Things to do and see
- Old Dutch Reformed Church
- Roman Catholic Church
- Voortrekker Monument
- Dinky Dunes 4 X 4 Trails
- Namaqua 4 X 4 Trails
- Goegap Nature Reserve
- Namaqualand Flower Route
Pofadder receives approximately 188 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 15˚C and 35˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 22˚C.
There are local flights into Upington Airport, 227 km away via the N14, into Kimberley Airport, 627 km away, via the N14 and N8 and into the Cape Town International Airport, 733 km away via the scenic N7. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Most people think Pofadder is named after South Africa’s poisonous Puffadder snake however, the town gets its name from a local chief called Klaas Pofadder.
Klaas Pofadder, a Koranna chief, was a cattle rustler who had his headquarters at a lonely, inaccessible little spring of fresh water known as Kanoneiland. In 1875 he and his band of men were pursued to their hideaway and killed in a gun fight by local farmers at this spot.
A mission station was set up here in 1875 and named Pofadder. In 1918 the name was officially changed to Theronsville, but the original name stuck and was eventually re-employed.
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