De Aar, originally the name of a a small Karoo farm, means  ‘the artery’ because of the life-sustaining underground water courses.
In 1881 a portion of the De Aar farm  was purchased to establish a junction for the new Cape Town to Kimberley railway.
It was called Brounger Junction after the railway engineer William Brounger, but the name soon reverted back to the name of the farm. For much of the 20th century it was the second-most important railway junction in South Africa.
The area surrounding the town is popular for hunting, despite the fact that the region is arid.
There are ancient Khoisan rock engravings nearby on the Brandfontein farm.
In the town the ‘Garden of Remembrance’, honours British troops killed in the Anglo-Boer War.
Lekker Links
Google Map of De Aar
Northern Cape Tourism Authority
Paragliding School
Holiday in Kimberley & the Northern Cape Northern Cape province
Barkly West, Calvinia, Carnarvon, Colesberg, De Aar, Kimberley, Kuruman, Port Nolloth, Prieska, Springbok, Upington.
Olive Schreiner
Nooitgedacht glaciated pavement engravings
Augrabies Falls National Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Namakwa (Namaqua) National Park
Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Tankwa Karoo National Park
Mokala National Park
Olive Schreiner, the famous author and feminist who wrote Women and Labour, lived in De Aar with her husband Samuel Cronwright from 1907 to 1913. Their house, a national monument on the corner of Crund Linch and Van Zyl Street, is now a restaurant.
These days De Aar is particularly well known for its paragliding school, attracting hang gliding and paragliding enthusiasts from all over Southern Africa and Europe.
The airdrome has four runways to deal with a range of wind directions. Pilots are launched with a ‘payout’ winch fixed on the back of a vehicle. A mountain launch is also available. The surrounding area is abundant semi-desert landscape with plenty of landing options. Roads in all directions make for easy recovery once you land.

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