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Keimoes | Northern Cape | Green Kalahari

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Keimoes Green Kalahari | Northern Cape

Keimoes welcomes you to the Green Kalahari Oasis after a long and hot drive along arid landscapes. Enter the lush and picturesque little town about 50 km southwest of Upington in the Northern Cape where sultanas, other grape varieties, lucern, wheat and fruit are grown under irrigation from the Orange River. Here they export the grapes, press some of the grapes into wine and spread the rest out on fields to let them dry in the burning sun, to become raisins. Be amazed by the contrasting landscape, people and quality of life as you enter.

The origin of this little oasis’s name is in dispute. Legend has it that Klaas Lukas, a Koranna river-people leader, established a village on the banks of the Orange River near the Tier Mountains. He called the village Keimoes (mouse nest) after the colonies of mice living there. A more probable origin lies in the Nama words ‘gei’ (great) and ‘mus’ (fountain or eye).

There are a few interesting attractions in the town. The paddle wheel of the old watermill is a particularly beautiful setting for photographers, which still does its work the traditional way, leading water from the Orange River to the vineyards. The Dutch Reformed mission church, built in 1889, is now a national monument. The Tierberg Nature Reserve lies 4 km from town on the road to Augrabies Falls National Park. Teaming with springbok, it covers 160ha and is noted for its many aloes – mostly winter flowering.

Spring sees many succulents in full flower. The most numerous species is Aloe gariepensis. It is named after the Gariep (the old Khoikhoi name for the Orange River). At the summit of the reserve, there is a lookout with a marvelous view across the Orange River Valley. Wine tasting and tours are also offered at the Orange River Cellars the largest co-operative cellar in the Southern Hemisphere.

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