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Springfontein is a small town situated about 140 km south of Bloemfontein and 80 km north of Colesburg – serving as another great small town to overnight at between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth or East London.
The town also once served as an important railway junction between the coast and Gauteng while a second line ran toward west to the diamond-producing town of Koffiefontein via Jagersfontein and Fauresmith.
Despite not exactly being on the “tourist map”, Springfontein has a few good reasons to visit as its history relates directly to the struggle, and especially to the hardships, of the Anglo-Boer War. During the war, the town of Springfontein was home to the largest field hospital in the southern hemisphere and the Concentration Camp held nearly 3 000 Boer women and children. More than 700 of them died in that time.
The Concentration Camp and its cemetery which includes a children’s section, is an interesting outing and the house alongside the camp site, De Bome, is where Emily Hobhouse stayed during her visits to Springfontein.
The Springfontein locals keep busy with farming and outdoor activities. The main street offers restaurants, and shops and stalls filled with good quality country products for tourists.
Springfontein offers accommodation facilities from B&B’s and Guest houses to self-catering units and Guest Farms.
Things to do and see
- Concentration Camp & Cemetery
- De Bome House
- Ox-Wagon Tracks
- Historical Washing Stone
- Sehularo Memorial Clinic
- Anglican Church
- San Petroglyphs Rock Engravings
- Kalkfontein Dam Nature Reserve
- Kuilfontein Farm Stall
Springfontein receives approximately 312 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during the Summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 16˚C.
Springfontein was established in 1904 on the farm Harleydale which was part of the farm Springfontein. The name Springfontein is Afrikaans for ‘jumping spring’ and the town took its name from the existence of an artesian spring.
The town attained municipal status in 1912 after a village management board was established. In the early part of the 20th century the Springfontein Creameries were one of the main employers.
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