Upington is the chief city in the Northern Region of the country and is situated on the banks of the famous Orange River. It is an ideal stop over on the major route to Namibia, 820 km north of Cape Town and 875 km west of Johannesburg.
Most think of a desolate, sunbaked, southern Kalahari desert town when the name Upington is mentioned, but how wrong one can be! Through the harsh landscape that surrounds Upington runs a glittering green ribbon - the fertile Orange River Valley. Upington has beautifully landscaped gardens, many rose beds and large, graceful trees. Die Eiland is a Holiday Resort situated on an island in the middle of the Orange River with a Date Palm entrance avenue of over 1000 metres of Palm trees. Upington is known as a wonderful winter holiday resort with a genuine atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
The area is a favourite for outdoor activities from hunting, hiking and 4X4 adventures to river rafting, fishing and boating. Wine lovers can spend the day at The Orange River Wine Cellars. This is a five-cellar co-operative. It is the largest in the country and the second largest in the world. It offers fantastic wine-tasting tours and tours of the facility. There is also the Kalahari Craft Beer for those who prefer a “cold one”.
Upington is also strategically situated for visits to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Augrabies Falls National Park. It is the closest large town to the Augrabies Falls which is arguably the king of South African waterfalls.
Upington offers a variety of B&B’s, Guesthouses, Hotels, Lodges and self-catering cottages.
Things to do and see
- Orange River Wine Cellars
- Grietjie – Retired Steam Locomotive
- Kalahari Oranje Museum
- Orange River Wine Route
- Haksteen Pan
- KHI Solar One
- Spitskop Nature Reserve
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Pak (Kalahari Gemsbok Park)
- Augrabies Falls National Park
- Sakkie se Arkie Orange River Cruise
- Old Mission Market
- Kalahari Craft Beer
- Desert Palace Casino
- Kalahari Mall
- Upington Golf Course
Upington receives approximately 180 mm of rain annually, mostly during the summer months. It is known as a desert climate with virtually no rainfall during the year.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 35˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 23˚C.
There are daily flights into Upington Airport, just 3 km outside of town. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Sir Thomas Upington, attorney-general of the Cape, was the man responsible for liquidating the business activities of the Orange River pirates and capturing their leader, Klaas Lucas. When the desperadoes were finally driven away in 1884, a town was founded in the area on the banks of the Orange River and named in honour of the pacifier of a very tumultuous part of the country.
Among the first pioneers were Oom Japie Lutz and missionary Christiaan Schroder, the town first began as a Mission Station in 1875, who in 1890, dug the first irrigation canal, erected a pump on the banks of the river and started a pontoon ferry here.
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