The Go Ghaap! Route is one of eight main Northern Cape tourism routes, with quirky small towns that have fascinating histories while also boasting amazing architecture and a number of archaeological sites, nature reserves and accommodation spaces that cater to travellers seeking adventure.
This heritage route covers a heart-shaped elevated region and takes in small Northern Cape "frontier" towns such as Postmasburg, Griquatown, Campbell, Olifantshoek, Dibeng (Deben), Kathu, Daniȅlskuil and Kuruman. With its colourful history of colonial battles, missionaries, explorers and renegades, it could be described as the Northern Cape's very own "Wild West"!
Here’s a taste of what to look out for when travelling along the Go Ghaap! Route:
Red Sands Country Lodge
This picturesque and tranquil Red Sands Country Lodge, nestled in the hills 15km west of Kuruman, offers holidaymakers accommodation options ranging from thatched rondavels and campsites to self-catering units.
The 18 000ha lodge also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including bush trails and game drives, with up to 50 different wildlife species that can be identified in the vicinity. There is also a pool bar, wedding hall and restaurant on site.
Red Sands Country Lodge can be explored by foot, on mountain bikes and in private vehicles. It is also the perfect stopover for holidaymakers en route to Namibia, the West Coast or the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
For more information, phone +27 (0)53 712 0033 or email email@example.com.
Moffat Mission Station
Every traveller exploring this route should include the Moffat Mission on their itinerary. The missionary church was completed by Robert Moffat in 1838 (50 years before Kuruman was laid out) and restored in 1938 to mark its centenary. Today, it remains one of Kuruman’s greatest historical landmarks.
The Moffat Mission traditionally served as the main stopover on the “highway to the north”, into Southern Africa. Visitors who stop here today can expect to view, among other items of interest, a cast-iron printing press that was used to print the first Bibles translated from English to Tswana by Moffat.
There is also a cemetery where missionaries and their children were buried, as well as an ox wagon that was used to transport timber from hundreds of kilometres away to build the church.
For more information, phone +27 (0)53 712 2645.
Linksfontein Safari Lodge
For a top-drawer photo safari experience just 105km from Kimberley, head to the stunning Linksfontein Safari Lodge, located on the Ghaap Plateau near Campbell.
Linksfontein is 22 000ha in size, with 38 different animal species, including kudu, giraffe and steenbuck.
Visitors can choose from nine en-suite double bedrooms with air-conditioning; there’s also a television with satellite channels in the main lounge, indoor and outdoor braai (barbecue) areas, a swimming pool and a vast open lawn for an assortment of activities.
For more information, phone +27 (0)82 905 9787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Eye of Kuruman
The Eye of Kuruman is a natural wonder, pegged as “the real oasis of the Kalahari”, and is regarded as the biggest natural spring in the southern hemisphere.
A must-visit for holidaymakers, the Eye of Kuruman is estimated to pump out approximately 20-million to 30-million litres of clear water daily. It is responsible for supplying household water to the town of Kuruman and neighbouring communities, and feeds the Kuruman River and two 7km-long irrigation canals.
Wonderwerk Cave and rock paintings
When translated from Afrikaans, wonderwerk means “miracle”. This “miracle cave” is a South African National Heritage Site and is located a mere 45km drive south of Kuruman. The cave is part of an archaeological site containing traces of human life dating back two million years.
The Wonderwerk Cave extends an estimated 139m into the earth’s depths. Some of its most fascinating highlights include Stone Age artefacts, such as hand axes and “the oldest evidence of the controlled use of fire”, painted ostrich-egg shells and San rock paintings.
Excavated items that were at this site are now housed at the McGregor Museum, the province's principal research institution.
For more information, phone +27 (0)82 222 4777 or visit the McGregor Museum.