Prieska, Northern Cape

Prieska lies right on the Orange River.
If ever you were wondering about how Prieska got its name, it’s a Koranna word pronounced “Prieskab” and it means “The Place of the Lost Goat”. Whose goat? Was it ever found? Did they eat it? No one knows.

This little Northern Cape town near the Orange River has another oddity: on Prieska Koppie, there’s a rather handsome British fort made entirely out of unprocessed tiger’s eye. It must be the only fort in the world constructed from semi-precious stones.

To love Prieska, you need to have eyes for the dry country. The town is part of the ‘Rock Garden Route’ which stretches all along the N10, west to the N7 and up to the Namibian border. But once you have an appreciation for Pachypodia (called the ‘half-mens’ – half-human in Afrikaans) and quivertrees and Lithops succulents, you’ll never fancy an English garden again.

During flood season, the normally khaki-toned Prieska presents a delightful sight of the Orange River in full spate, rushing through the endless brown landscape of the Northern Cape on its way to the Atlantic Ocean

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