town in the Northern Cape, South Africa

Springbok is a town in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. With a population of 13,000 (2911), it is the biggest settlement in the region, and the business centre of the Namaqualand.

Overview of the city

The town’s mining history, flora and connection to the Second Boer War makes it a rich hub of natural and cultural heritage. It is still widely used as a stopover for those travelling between South Africa and Namibia.

Understand edit

Flora edit

Flowering Desert

Springbok experiences low levels of air humidity, limited soil moisture and severe sunshine throughout the year. This often arid area is home to seasonal vegetation and drought resistant succulents like the kokerboom which have adapted to the harsh conditions to survive.

What would generally be an unfavourable environment for vegetation, this area experiences high floral diversity. Springbok is especially fascinating since almost half of the plant species here are found nowhere else in the world.

Goegap Nature Reserve

When the winter rain falls, the Goegap Nature Reserve, home to the Hester Malan Wild Flower Garden, with outcrops of granite, is covered in spring flowers like irises and orchids.

The streets lead off from a central little koppie (hill) which now shows off Namaqualand’s strange flora, such as the almost leafless Quiver tree whose branches were used by San people to hold their arrows. This area is famed for the incredible transformation which occurs every spring, when the near-lifeless scrubland explodes into colour from thousands of flowers hidden in the dry dusty earth, brought to life by winter rains.

Get in edit

By car edit

From Cape Town follow the N7 northwards for approximately 562 km, about 7 hours driving time. The border to Namibia is another 100 km along the N7 from here. The N14, which crosses the whole Northern Cape crosses the N7 just outside Springbok and offers connections to Upington and Gauteng.

By plane edit

Springbok airport is 5 km outside the town. Flights to Cape Town are available from here.

By bus edit

Intercape buses stop in front of the Springbok Lodge. They offer four weekly connections to Cape Town and Pretoria.

By taxi edit

Get around edit

The town of Springbok is nestled in a valley totally surrounded by hills. It is not very big and its attractions can easily be reached by foot.

See edit

Dutch Reformed Church
  • Start your tour through Springbok in the city centre, which is around a hill called Klipkoppie. Here was an English fortress, burned down during the Anglo-Boer war by a troop of general Jan Smuts.
  • After a short walk along Monument Street, you will reach the town museum in an old synagogue.
  • A bit further on is the entrance to the Blue Mine, the first commercial copper mine of South Africa, which started operations in 1852. There is now mining for diamonds and other gems. The area has a blue tinge created when copper reacts with oxygen in the air.

Do edit

Buy edit

In Melkboskuil is an old store selling antique furniture.

Eat edit

  • Springbok Lodge & Restaurant, corner of Voortrekker and Keerom Road. A meeting point for travellers and locals to have a bite to eat.
  • Nando's, Cnr. Vander Stel & Hospital Str. (across from the Police Station), +27 27 718-1454. Till 10PM. Flame grill meals. Power point available.

Drink edit

Sleep edit

Go next edit

  • Goegap Nature Reserve, 10 km south-west of the town along the R355, is a conservation area that gets covered in spring flowers. It is often called Namaqualand in miniature. Inside the reserve is the Malan Wild Flower Garden, which offers hiking trails, mountain bike tours and roads for 4x4 vehicles. It also the home of several mammalian species like springbok, gemsbok and aardwolf. Throughout the year tourists visit for hikes and mountain biking on the trails and routes across the tranquil land.
  • Springbok is frequently visited as a stopoff point between Cape Town and Namibia, or on the way to the Augrabies Falls National Park.
This city travel guide to Springbok is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.