Colesberg Accommodation - Honeylocust Guest House offers luxury accommodation in Colesberg, Nothern Cape

Colesberg Accommodation | Honeylocust | About Colesberg

Colesberg is situated on the N1 halfway between Cape Town and Gauteng in a semi-desert area called the Karoo. It is an ideal stopover for travelers from the north to the south of South Africa. The Karoo is known for endless plains and mountains, scorching hot summers and icy cold winters. Karoo comes from the Khoi name Karusa which means “place of thirst”.

 

The Karoo is famous for the largest variety of succulents to be found in the world. This harsh environment offers a wide variety of things to do and most activities are closely linked to nature. You can experience silence like nowhere on earth, breath clean and fresh air and the night sky offers some of the best stargazing in the world.

 

HISTORY OF COLESBERG

 

(by Belinda Gordon)

 

The first people to inhabit the Colesberg district were stone-age hunter-gatherers. They were followed in the early 19th century by ‘trekboere', migrant farmers and missionaries. By 1814, a mission station had been established in the hopes of bringing peace to what was an extremely unruly frontier area of the Cape Colony. Soon a second mission station, called Hepzibah, was established nearby and within short the two stations attracted over 1 700 Xam San (Bushmen). This caused great alarm among frontier settlers who felt their security was threatened. They appealed to the Governor to assure their safety, but there was little improvement and in 1818 the Cape Colonial Government stepped in and put an end to the mission work.

 

By 1820 several huge farms had been established in the district and in 1822 the farmers petitioned for the establishment of a town. The Government granted 18 138 morgen of land to the Dutch Reformed Church on January 27, 1830, and so Colesberg, named after Sir Lowry Cole, (Governor from 1828 to 1833), was established.

 

THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

 

The town lies in typical Karoo veld and is surrounded by koppies (little hills). The most famous is Coleskop, which can be seen from a distance of over 40km. Early travellers called it "Towerberg" ("Magic Mountain"). The curious thing about this koppie is that as you travel towards it, it never seems to get nearer.

 

Colesberg has a rich history closely linked with to the legendary characters of South Africa's diamond industry. John O'Reiley, who purchased the first diamond found in South Africa from its owner, Schalk van Niekerk, took it to Colesberg for testing. It was used to scratch "DP", the initials of Draper and Plewman, a store which still exists, on the shop's window. Once the stone passed this test. it was sent to Dr Guybourne Atherstone, a well-known geologist. He confirmed it was a diamond and so started The Diamond Rush.

 

MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM

 

Colesberg has several national monuments, one of which is the Colesberg-Kemper Museum. A fine example of 19th century Karoo architecture, it originally was the Colesberg Bank and later the Standard Bank. It now houses fascinating relics of the town's rich tapestry of history. This museum started in 1924 when G L Kemper donated his collection of artifacts to the municipality. It has grown into a valuable local cultural history museum. Among its exhibits is a collection of fossils dating back to the first reptiles which inhabited this area and a permanent photographic display, compiled by UNISA, on the Karoo Nomads - (the donkey ‘karretjie' people).

 

EXPLORE THE ECOLOGY

 

Exploring the koppies in the area is an archaeological delight. These reveal stone-age artifacts and other interesting fragments of the past. Those who enjoy the Great Outdoors of the Great Karoo will enjoy to study the fauna and flora of in the veld around the town.

 

VISIT A FARM

 

Many of the country's leading merino sheep and race horse studs are in this district. These historic farms may be visited on request. There are also game farms and hunting can be arranged for those who enjoy this sport. Outdoor enthusiasts may walk or hike and bird watchers can enjoy the abundant bird life.

 

FOR WATER SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS

 

The Gariep Dam attracts outdoor and water sports enthusiasts. Here the Orange River flows over a 374 sq. kilometre area. The dam holds up to 5 958,3 cubic metres of water. Its wall is 947,9 m long and 90,5 high. There a variety of water sporting events and tours of the dam wall are conducted regularly.

 

COLESBERG AND THE ANGLO BOER WAR

 

Colesberg was one of the first districts in the Karoo to be invaded during the Anglo-Boer War. When the Boers crossed the Orange River on November 14, 1899, and occupied the town, General French was ordered to employ his forces to protect the railway line, push the Boers out of the district and prevent any further advances into the Colony. Obviously this resulted in several skirmishes and today tours are conducted to these sites on request. (Full details are obtainable from the Museum).

 

When British supporters heard the Boers had crossed the Orange River, they feared the worst. Many panicked, packed and fled. Some dug escape tunnels. The most famous is from the Methodist church to the "sloot", a dry water course. Many tourists visit and photograph this. They also enjoy the memorabilia in the Museum as well as seeing relics in private collections in town and in the district.

 

Many Boer and British soldiers, who fought on this forgotten frontier, are buried in the military and town cemeteries. Visits to these graves are included in the historic walks organised by the Museum. Those who are interested may also see the remains of forts and blockhouses on the outskirts of town. Nearby at Norvals Pont, there is a camp site where Boer women and children were imprisoned between 1901 and 1902.

 

By 1820 several huge farms had been established in the district and in 1822 the farmers petitioned for the establishment of a town. The Government granted 18 138 morgen of land to the Dutch Reformed Church on January 27, 1830, and so Colesberg, named after Sir Lowry Cole, (Governor from 1828 to 1833), was established.

 

Last edited: 03 August 2017 @ 09:45:50 AM
                    


                    


Colesberg Accommodation - Honeylocust Guest House offers luxury accommodation in Colesberg, Nothern Cape