Literary Gem of the Karoo

The small town of Richmond lies just off the N1 in the heart of the Karoo. It is much like the other typical Northern Cape towns of Hanover and Victoria West. The one difference however, is that the Church was not built as the focal point of the town, but rather the town square.

Richmond has been built on and around the river and has an imaginative and unusual layout with stunning scenery surrounding the town. Victorian and Edwardian style Karoo homes line the streets adding to the towns’ charm. The Dutch Reformed Church building dates back to 1847 with a tower completed in 1909.

The town offers some outdoor activities for visitors as well as a few good restaurants with local cuisine and entertainment. Richmond is also host to an annual book and international film festival which draws crowds and focuses attention on this otherwise sleepy little hollow and a number of accommodation establishments have surfaced to supply this need.

Places to Visit

Things to do and see

  • Richmond Saddle Horse Museum
  • Modern Art Projects
  • Groenvlei Muishoek Mountain Bike Route

Climate

Rainfall occurs in the mid-summer months, with February and March seeing the highest levels.

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 0˚C and 15˚C.

Transport

There are daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town into Bram Fischer International Airport in Bloemfontein. Hanover is approximately 369 km away and car rental companies are located at the Airport.

Hanover can also be reached along the N1 from Johannesburg, approximately 762 km, or Cape Town, approximately 644 km.

Festivals

October – Booktown Festival: A literary book and film festival taking place over 3 days.

History

Founded in 1845, Richmond was named after the Duke of Richmond by his son-in-law, the British governor, Sir Peregrine Maitland. In the 1800's it was known as a resort town for European patients with lung disease such as Tuberculosis and Whooping Cough because of its clean air and mineral rich water.

This was the birthplace of the South African medical pioneer, Dr Emil Hoffa, who founded the science of orthopaedics.

Richmond was also the scene of several battles during the Anglo-Boer War

Richmond is at the junction of a number of main roads northwards to Victoria West, Britstown and De Aar and southerly to Murraysburg, Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg.

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