River Place Manor, Upington

River Place Manor, Upington

Convenient and comfortably appointed lodge on the banks of the Orange River

Upington may be dry, dusty and hot for most of the year but you will enjoy River Place which is a wine estate with grounds leading down to the welcome cool of the Orange River. There are 10 suite-style rooms and one family suite. Accommodation is provided on a B&B basis and dinner can be provided on Mondays to Fridays. Barbecue (Braai) facilities are available and you can even Braai on the river on the Lodge’s floating Jetty. There is a beautiful swimming pool for those wishing to cool off after the heat of the day.

About the Location

The lodge has a canoe for those wishing to  venture onto the river or you might just wish to fish. There is river rafting, a river cruise, amazing bird watching and, of course, wine tasting. Choosing River place as a base also allows you to visit Augrabies Falls which is an hour and a half’s drive along the Orange River. This is also a good stopover en route to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It is a 2 1/2 hour drive to the entrance to the Park at Twee Rivieren.


Read More

!Xaus Lodge, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

!Xaus Lodge provides rustic-style accommodation with a touch of luxury in one of the most remote locations on earth

!Xaus is really different! The 12 well appointed and air conditioned chalets are set in a remote corner of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The park spans both South Africa and Botswana. The lounge and dining area has a cosy fireplace for the cold winter nights (June – August) when the heat of the day can plunge to close to freezing. Accommodation includes all meals and two game drives each day of your stay. There is an observation deck which is wonderful for star gazing in this pristine, unpolluted wilderness. The lodge also has a great pool for cooling off after the heat of the day.

About the Location

The Kgalagadi Park is larger than the Kruger Park extending to 3.5 million hectares. 50,000 hectares was given back to the Khomani San and Mier communities (Bushmen) in 2002 and the land was then leased back to South African National Parks. SAN Parks are responsible for the environmental management of the land and !Xaus Lodge is owned by the two communities. !Xaus means ‘heart’ in the Nama language and was proposed as a name for the lodge by a group of visiting Bushmen. This was confirmed by the representative bodies of both the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities. The   name, ‘!Xaus’, symbolises the healing of relationships, the restoration of dignity and the aspirations of these communities, who after many years of deprivation are now owners of the lodge and the land on which it is situated.The lodge overlooks a large salt pan with a distinctive heart shape in its northwest corner. This location inspired the name. The rustic -style lodge is located at the ‘heart’ of the land restored to each of the Mier and Bushman communities. The vision of the settlement agreement was stated as ‘in the national interest, to finally settle the land claims of the community parties and to establish a positive, co-operative relationship between the community parties and SANParks.’ The symbol ‘!’ denotes a palatal click in the Nama language.  !Xaus is pronounced ‘kaus’.’ !Xaus is a unique property  and among the experiences you will enjoy, guided walks and visits to a Bushman Village are also included.Game drives

  • Sunset pan drive and dune walk to ‘listen’ to the sun set over the Kalahari.
  • After-dinner night drive. You will hear sounds of barking geckos, insect shrills, and larger animal calls to break the silence.
  • A complimentary six to seven hour game drive through the dunes and along the Auob River.  A packed breakfast and picnic lunch, is available for guests staying four nights or longer. At an additional charge, this game drive is also available to those staying for two or three nights.

Read More

Northern Cape Region

Northern Cape

Weather in Northern Cape

Summer (November – March) Temperatures can soar to 50C but overnight fall close to 20C. It is very dry most of the time in this region so rain is unlikely at this time.

Autumn (April/May) Daytime temperatures around 18C and overnight -2C is common. Rain is unlikely.

Winter ( June – August) Daytime temperatures can average 14C and overnight fall to -3C. Around Springbok and the coast, day temperatures can be low teens and rain and fog can occur.

Spring (September/October) Daytime temperatures can rise to 30C but fall to 4C overnight. Rain is unlikely.

This is a remote, undeveloped and fascinating region of South Africa. A very dry semi desert, this is also the gateway to the wonders of the Kalahari Desert. Here you can go on one of the most amazing safaris in Africa, see the massive black maned lions alongside charming meerkats and also meet the few remaining San people who were among the original inhabitants of South Africa. The Orange River winds its way to the Atlantic Ocean providing irrigation to farms that produce the largest quantity of table grapes and raisins in South Africa. On its route this mighty river plunges over the awesome Augrabies Falls.

Facts about the Northern Cape

This dry region has interesting vegetation including the Kokerboom (Quiver Tree) and a profusion of flowers in the Namakwaland area during July and August.
A trip to the Northern Cape can easily be combined with the Cape Town area on a two week stay.
The best time to visit is between May and October when you will experience hot, sunny days and cold nights. Places to visit include:

  • Towns Upington is the main town situated on the Orange River with the second longest airport runway in the world!
  • Springbok is the old centre of copper mining but is now a tourist town that comes alive in the flower season.
  • Mountains and Animals The Kagalagardi Transfrontier National Park has some of the best game viewing in South Africa while the Richtersveldt north of Springbok has wild mountain scenery and unusual vegetation.
  • Diamonds There are interesting tours along the Atlantic coast provided by De Beers.

Accommodation in Northern Cape

Flying into the main town Upington the area has typically South African accommodation that ranges from luxury retreats to affordable bed and breakfast lodges.

Read More

The Overlook, Keimoes, Northern Cape

The Overlook is a wonderfully unique location and accommodation – definitely one of our favourites!

The Overlook is a small property with just three well appointed thatched, hut-style rooms. These are cool in the summer and have well equipped kitchenettes and bathrooms with excellent showers. We particularly enjoyed the little touches that provide a very African feel. The infinity pool is in a good position overlooking the vineyards and you can arrange a gourmet dinner to be served on the deck. The Overlook even has its own resident meerkats! The American / South African owners are attentive and will ensure a comfortable stay.

About The Overlook’s Location

Conveniently situated in the Orange Riverside village of Keimoes, The Overlook provides a convenient stopover between Upington and Springbok. It is only 50 kms from Upington but from your accommodation you will get beautiful views over the Winelands that skirt either side of the impressive Orange River. From here you can easily drive to the Augrabies Falls and up to the Kgalagardi Transfrontier Park. There is plenty to see and do in this area and we suggest spending at least three days exploring. Mid summer can be exceptionally hot so we suggest Spring, Autumn and late Winter. A stay here can be combined with Naries and the Kgalagardi Transfrontier Park.


Read More

Rooipan Guest House

Rooipan Guest Farm, Nr Upington, Northern Cape

Rooipan is a convenient location with warm, Afrikaans hospitality

Rooipan is set halfway between Upington and the Kgalagardi Transfrontier Park. This is truly an oasis in a very dry landscape. Here you will receive typical Afrikaans hospitality in accommodation that is crisply decorated, immaculately clean and cool in the searing midday sun. There are two suites that can also be used as self catering as they have a small kitchenette. The main bedroom is separate and has an en suite bathroom. The lounge area has a couch that can be used for young children. There is a small pool with an adjacent gazebo where dinner can be served. This is a large sheep farm and so the home cooked lamb is a must.

About Rooipan’s Location

The owners arrange a sundowner experience on the farm where you may see some of the rather special and occasionally weird nocturnal animals that inhabit this region. This is truly a unique experience.


Read More

Naries Namakwa Retreat

Naries Namakwa Retreat, Nr Springbok

Naries provides unusual accommodation in a rarely visited corner of South Africa

Naries Namakwa Retreat is a  truly unique property is situated 20 kms west of the one time copper mining town of Springbok. There are 5 double rooms in the manor house, some with sweeping views over the valley to the east. Additionally there are 3 extraordinary Namakwa style huts perched high on a ridge. These overlook the dramatic Specktakel Pass with the original copper mine discovered in 1671 still apparent at its base. These huts are as luxurious as some of the finest game lodges in South Africa and are thatched on the inside as well as the outside. This keeps them cool in the blistering summer sun and warm in the chilly winters. There are also 2 family cottages. The lodge prides itself on its excellent cuisine served in a romantic candlelit dining room.

About Naries’ Location

The extensive grounds of this private nature reserve are crisscrossed with walking trails. Although good at any time of the year, during July, August and early September you will be walking amongst the dense and vivid Namakwaland flowers that bloom briefly. From here you will be able to get to the extraordinary Richtersveld National Park. Here you will experience its moonscape terrain and equally weird vegetation. The coast is mainly controlled by De Beers because of the extensive offshore and onshore Diamond mining activities. It is possible to join a guided tour of these activities and also of the extensive shipwrecks littering the coast. This location can be combined with a visit to the extraordinary Kgalagadi Transfrontier park sandwiched between Botswana and Namibia in the Kalahari desert. In between, you can visit the Augrabies Falls where the Orange river plunges down a series of impressive waterfalls.


 

Read More

Sun River Kalahari Lodge, Upington

A great jumping off point situated on the Orange River

Sun River Lodge is a convenient starting point for your travels in the Northern Cape. Just 10 minutes from Upington Airport, it is situated on the banks of the Orange River overlooking the railway bridge that is one of the features of the town. This owner run lodge has 16 comfortable, air conditioned rooms. Some first floor rooms have a private deck over looking the beautiful grounds and the river. There is a great bar by the pool and also a deck extending over the river for a romantic glass of local wine at sunset with the cooling air of the water tempering the heat of the day.

About the Location

This can be used as a base from which to explore the area. The Airport is also noteworthy as the second longest runway in the world and the only other place that can be used as a landing strip for the US Space Shuttle other than Edwards Airforce Base in the US.


Read More

Vergelegen Country Lodge, Kakamas

A convenient if a little impersonal lodge with comfortable accommodation

Vergelegen is a lodge on the outskirts of the riverside town of Kakamas set in surprisingly verdant grounds in this rather arid area. The 14 rooms are set around a courtyard with a small fountain and are comfortably appointed with reasonably sized rooms and good bathrooms. There is a restaurant and a pleasant outer courtyard around the small pool. The lake fed by irrigation water from the Orange River is beautiful and a haven for water birds including Black Swans.

About the Location

The spectacular Augrabies Falls are just 25 kms from here and are one of the must see locations in South Africa. This is where the Orange River literally plunges off the high central plateau of Africa on its journey to the Atlantic Ocean. Although awesome at any time, during the Autumn (March to June) the falls are in full flood when the volume of water exceeds that of Victoria Falls. This is a convenient spot from Springbok in the west coast to Upington on you way to the Kgalagadi National Park in the Kalahari.


Read More