Upington, the largest town in the Green Kalahari region of the Northern Cape Province, has been nominated in the hugely popular Kwêla and Rapport Town of the Year competition.The popular competition is run on a regional basis with towns being nominated to represent each region. The regional winners will go up against each other in August.
Upington is the commercial hub of the region and lies on the banks of the mighty Orange River. Lush green vineyards are in sharp contrast with the arid landscape of the region. Upington and surrounds are home to great wines and brandies with tastings available at various cellars and estates. The town also forms the starting point of the Quiver Tree Food and Wine Route, which stretches to the incredible Augrabies fall staking in quaint little towns like Kanoneiland, Keimoes and Kakamas along the way. Take a donkey ride and enjoy traditional “vetkoek” at Blocuso Trust, plunge into the hot springs at Riemvasmaak, sip estate brandy at Bezalel, view the potholes along the river near Kanoneiland or buy beautiful semi-precious stones at Crystal Springs Minerals. A stop at Die Pienk Padstal and Kalahari Vleishuis is a must to stock up on mementoes and fabulous local delicacies.
The town offers a large variety of tourism attractions and accommodation facilities range from newly revamped hotels to luxury guest houses, family holiday resorts and camping sites. Upington airport is serviced from Johannesburg and Cape Town and the town is considered the gateway to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Upington boast several monuments and unique attractions, including a donkey and camel monument, the longest date palm avenue at Die Eiland Holiday Resort as well as one of the longest runways. Visitors should not miss the opportunity of exploring the river during a leisurely sundowner cruise on the ferry called Sakkie se Arkie. Cellar tours can be arranged at Orange River Cellars, while a visit to the SA Dried Fruit Factory and Kalahari Desert Productsprovide a glimpse into the production of dried fruits and pecan nuts. For the more adventurous awaits the adrenaline rush of white water rafting on the river, 4x4 trails, hiking routes and adventure biking.
Upington is up against Paarl, Upington, Steytlerville, Phalaborwa, Witrivier, Fouriesburg, Winterton and Heidelberg. To ensure that Upington emerge as the winner, SMS Upington to 33157until 12h00 on Tuesday, 6 August. Fabulous prizes are up for grabs for anyone who enters the SMS competition, including an incredible family holiday in Cape Town.
The winning town will be announced during the Kwela broadcast on Wednesday, 7 August, and the town will host a fabulous celebration on Saturday, 24 August.