- Northern Cape
This is one of the countries important foundation towns and is also considered an important missionary town. It was the home of Scottish minister Robert Moffat, who wrote the first Sesotho translation of the bible. The small Mary Moffat Museum was once a mission build, built back in 1826, and named after Mary Livingstone, the daughter of Robert and Mary Moffat. A pulpit used by Moffat, Waterboer and David Livingstone, can be seen here.
Griekwastad is one of the best stopover towns when visiting the popular Witsand Nature Reserve, Augrabies, Namaqualand and Namibia. Neighbours of the town include other little “dorps” like Douglas, Prieska, Groblershoop. The Douglas Wine Cellars is well worth a visit and also near Douglas, the confluence of the Orange and Vaal Rivers can be viewed and the fascinating Glacier Floors, where the markings of ice passing can be seen.
This small town is also well-known for semi-precious stones and still today it is on the route known as “Diamond Fields” – pop into the Earth Treasures Shop to view jewellery and other semi-precious stones such as jasper and tiger’s eye.
Griekwastad accommodation includes Guest Farms and self-catering facilities.
Things to do and see
- Mary Moffat Museum
- Earth Treasures Shop
- Andries Waterboer's Grave
- Koegelbeen Caves, 20 km
- Witsand Mountain Bike Trails
- 4 X 4 Trails
- Vaalpan Rock Art
Griekwastad receives approximately 321 mm of rain per year with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 32˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 21˚C.
There are the occasional domestic flights into Kimberley Airport approximately 158 km away via the N8. Car hire facilities are available at all Airports.
The Griqua people were a Hottentot tribe who lived near Piketberg, led by a freed slave known as Adam the Cook or Adam Kok. They wandered northwards and in 1800 settled at a place called Klaarwater, 'clear water'. Here they led a colourful existence, rustling, farming, fighting and drinking strong liquor brought by traders from the Cape.
In 1803, the London Missionary Society established a mission station around which grew Griquatown - the first town north of the Orange River. This was a mixed community consisting of members of a Chaguriqua tribe and 'bastaards' (of mixed origin) from Piketberg, and local tribes like the Koranna and Tswana. Their leaders were Adam Kok II and Andries Waterboer. In 1813 the 'bastaard' were renamed Griquas, and the town Griquatown, by the Rev John Campbell.
Disputes Between the two leaders led to the Kok faction leaving Griquatown for Philippolis and Kokstad. After the discovery of diamonds at Kimberley, owners of Griquatown district came into further dispute. The Keate arbitration awarded the area to Waterboer, who immediately sought Crown protection. This led to the colony of Griqualand West, which was later to be annexed to the Cape.
The Griquas became a people of some consequence on the frontier and their country, Griqualand West, had its own flag and coinage.
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