Colesberg, Northern Cape

Historic buildings line Colesberg’s main street.
The rocky hills around Colesberg have seen a lot of action in millennia gone by.

The Stone Agers were the first humans to wander through these koppies. The trekboer and his herds followed in the colonial times, and then came the missionaries from all over Europe.

By then, the San clan living in the area were the /Xam, and many of them readily converted to Christianity. But with new waves of settlement came the normal influx of Bad Lands People: the gangsters, thieves, career criminals, hunters and loose ladies. Colesberg was a true frontier town. Like Tombstone and Dodge in the USA.

The Anglo-Boer War at the turn of the 20th Century saw to it that Colesberg was, for a few years, a very dangerous place to be. Nervous townsfolk used to watch the koppies for sign of a sniper or a large gun emplacement.

It also became the home town of international golf ace Gary Player, the local seat of the sheep industry, and a major racehorse-breeding district.

There’s a fantastic rural school on an outlying farm, a tourism school in town and a massive accommodation network to welcome the Johannesburg – Cape Town traffic.

For those travellers who have time to look around for a day or so, Colesberg offers a great walking tour. Just ask your overnight host for a pamphlet and follow the signs.

You will see all the classic Karoo and Cape Dutch architecture here, mostly from Victorian days. The local museum offers an insight into early colonial days in Colesberg, there’s an old horse mill (currently a popular bar), the old courthouse, the Mother Church and a visit to the local township.

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3 thoughts on “Colesberg, Northern Cape

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