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There is no better place in the world to have a holiday than South Africa. For independent information, advice and facts about going on holiday to South Africa visit southafricaholiday.org.uk
South Africa Holiday: The ubiquitous Quiver Tree can be found on koppies around Upington

South Africa Holiday: Upington

In the middle of a dry semi-desert region an oasis has been created using the waters of the Orange River for irrigation. Upington is the economic centre of this part of the Northern Cape and the gateway to the Kalahari desert.

Upington is situated in an intensively cultivated area on the banks of the Orange River.
Click to see a detailed map of Upington and the Northern Cape Originally known as Kharahais, bound by the Orange River and the Kalahari desert, today Upington is the principal town and commercial, educational and social centre of the Green Kalahari.
It is the centre of the Karakul sheep and dry fruit industries in the country and it is the most northerly winemaking centre in South Africa with the largest wine cellars in South Africa and the second largest in the world.
South Africa Holiday: The birdge over the Orange river at Upington in the Northern Cape
This portion of the Orange River has many small islands in the main stream and in the mid-1800s these densely wooded areas were strongholds for rustlers and renegades. A ford across the river, known as Olijvenhoutsdrift, became a focal point for these outlaws. In 1870 the Koranna (Khoisan) chief Klaas Lucas sent word that he would like a missionary to come to to teach his people to read and write.
The Reverend Christiaan Schröder (a son of one of a Rhenish missionary in Namaqualand) was sent from Cape Town and established the Olijvenhoutsdrift Mission Station in 1873.
Sir Thomas Upington, the first Attorney-general of the Cape Colony, visited the region in 1879 and decided to establish a police station outpost to keep order.
This police station was known as Upington, and only in 1898 did the mission station and the police station unite to form the town of Upington.

South Africa Holiday: Meerkats keep a lookout over the Kalahari near Upington in the Northern CapeThis small settlement grew rapidly and the variety of agricultural activities, the considerable natural wealth and the endless source of Orange River water all added to its prosperity.
The Manse (rector's house) and the church that stand here today are the original buildings that Reverend Schröder built when he began the mission, and now houses the Kalahari Orange Museum.
The museum is home to the life-sized monument of the donkey, sculptured in bronze by Hennie Potgieter. It symbolizes the unselfish contribution made by the donkey in developing the Lower Orange River Valley during the pioneer days.
South Africa Holiday: Grapes are everywhere in and around Upington in the Northern CapeThe landscape is very arid but the soil is fertile and crops are grown in irrigated fields. The area is best known for its export-quality grapes, raisins and wines, which are cultivated on the rich flood plains of the Orange river. Upington Airport has the longest runway in Africa at 4,900m.
South Africa Holiday: The Orange River irrigates vast stretches of land in the Upington region of the Northern Cape
Upington enjoys a summer rainfall and hot climate, often reaching 40°C. An ideal winter holiday resort, its facilities are excellent and the countryside contrasts semi-desert reds with the emerald and olive greens of fertile vineyards.
Upington is an excellent staging post for those travelling to the Augrabies Falls National Park, the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, the Fish River Canyon and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
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