This pricipal Town of the Green Kalahari is 820km north of Cape Town and 875km west of Johannesburg.
By uniting Christian Schröder’s 1871 mission station, Olyfenhoutsdrift and the Upington police station, the town of Upington, named after the first Attorney General of the Cape, Sir Thomas Upington, was formed.
Originally known as Kharahais, bound by the Orange River and the Kalahari desert, Upington is the principal town and commercial, educational and social centre of the Green Kalahari, owing its prosperity to agriculture and its irrigated lands along the Orange River.
Upington enjoys a summer rainfall and a hot climate. An ideal winter holiday resort, its facilities are excellent and the countryside contrasts semidesert reds with the emerald and olive greens of fertile vineyards. Linked by air and road to most parts of the country, the town is accessible, offers excellent accommodation and has a well-developed commercial infrastructure.
On the Kalahari-Namaqua-Namibia (Nama-kwari) route to and from Johannesburg and Cape Town, it is a convenient stopover for those travelling to the Augrabies Falls National Park, the Fish River Canyon and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Kalahari Oranje Museum Complex,
Schröder Street, Upington 8800
Tel: +27 (0)54 332 6064
This monument was erected on the field in Paballelo township where about 3 000 anti-apartheid protesters were teargassed by riot police in 1985. A municipal policeman living nearby was killed in the ensuing chaos.
The “Upington 26” went on trial for participating in what was controversially deemed to be a crowd killing, under the doctrine of common purpose. Twenty-five were found guilty of the constable’s murder, with 14 of them sentenced to death, and one was convicted of attempted murder.
The case sparked an international outcry, and the death sentences were later overturned, with most serving prison terms and subsequently being released as political prisoners.