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South Africa Holiday: Tiger's Eye stone from Prieska

South Africa Holiday: Prieska

Prieska in the Northern Cape was originally a fording place across the Orange River. It is well worth the visit to see the British Fort built of Tiger's Eye stone during the Anglo-Boer War, and the impressive collection of succulents in the surrounding countryside.

Prieska lies on the south bank of the Orange River, at the foot of the Doringberg (thorn mountains) and west of Hopetown. It was established between 1878 and 1882 and was granted municipal status in 1892.
Click to see a detailed map of Barkly West and the Northern CapeThe stone fort on the top of Prieska Koppie (hill) overlooking the town was built by the British during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. It is made entirely of tiger's eye. The graves of British soldiers who died in the war can be seen in the Memorial Garden in town.
South Africa Holiday: British Fort built at Prieska during the Anglo-Boer warPrieska was originally named Prieschap, a Koranna word meaning "place of the lost she-goat”. It was a fording place for travellers crossing the Orange river. It became a well-known staging post, with a trading post and mission station established here. When several voortrekkers moved their cattle here after heavy rains, they remained.
Prieska is renowned for its semi-precious stones; in particular it is best known for Tiger's Eye.
The Schumann Rock Collection, including semiprecious stones and Khoisan stone implements, is also worth visiting at the municipal offices.
Impressive collections of succulents are found in the Prieska Koppie Nature Reserve. The area between Prieska and Vioolsdrif is often called the "Rock Garden Route" – where the rare halfmens and succulents of the Lithops family can be found - and the Ria Huysamen Aloe Garden outside town contains a large array of succulents.
Also worth a visit is Wonderdraai, where a horseshoe-shaped island is formed by the flow of the Orange River and makes it seem as if the river turns to flow uphill.
Examples of Bushman rock art can be viewed on several farms in the area surrounding Prieska.
Today Prieska is a centre for sheep farming, while lucerne, vegetables, maize and fruit are grown using irrigation from the Orange River.
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