- Northern Cape
Gateway to the White and Roaring Sands
Visiting Olifantshoek goes beyond the common perception of tourism and regular holiday activities. Being the only town at the foothills of the Lange mountains, it offers a unique beauty along with unique attractions.
The town is called the ‘Gateway to the White and Roaring Sands’ which lie 78 km south of the town and is one of Olifantshoek’s many natural wonders. The white granular dunes of the Witsand Nature Reserve are over 100 m high and 10 km long. When disturbed by wind in hot, dry weather, these dunes emit strange roaring sounds. This strange occurrence is truly extraordinary and a must to be witnessed!
Olifatshoek boasts natural wonders and cultural artefacts, all complimented by the natural beauty and peaceful environment. There is ample opportunity for hunting and hiking and for visitors who enjoy archaeological experiences there are San Rock paintings and engravings as well as an interesting war grave dating back to 1879.
Accommodation in Olifatshoek includes Game Lodges, B&B’s, self-catering and camping facilities.
Things to do and see
- Witsand Nature Reserve
- San Rock Art
- Galeshewe’s War Graves
- Neylan Hiking Trail
- Pudu Hiking Trails
- Langkloof Pass
- Kuruman Golf Course, 102 km
- Kalahari Mall, 150 km in Upington
Olifantshoek receives approximately 342 mm of rain per year with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 34˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 24˚C.
There are the occasional domestic flights into Upington Airport approximately 168 km away via the N14 and into Kimberley Airport approximately 255 km away via the R385 and R31. Car hire facilities are available at all Airports.
Olifantshoek used to be the land of the Tswana, where tribes like the Thlaping and the Thlaro used to dwell. A hundred years of Tswana reign came to an end in 1885 when the area became part of British Betsjoeanaland, and in 1895 British Betsjoeanaland became part of the Cape Colony.
The first brick building, a police cell and magistrates court, was built in 1906 and a huge tent was alongside the office was used as the court. A policeman of the Cape Mounted Police, Sgt Hubert Warren, was the first resident to build a house in Olifantshoek in 1909.
During this time, police patrolling was done on camelback, the practise came to an end only in 1946. The camels were obtained from a camel breeding station at Witdraai in the Kalahari.
The name Olifantshoek is derived from the original Tswana name,”Ditlou”, which means “elephant” and was used due to the prevalence of these big animals in the area - many elephant bones have been found in the vicinity.
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