About Frances Baard District Municipality Tourism
Frances Baard District is nestled in the north-eastern corner of the Northern Cape Province and comprises out of four local municipalities, each boasting its own unique offerings. The District is well located along the alternative route N12 from Cape Town to Johannesburg, therefore well situated for local and international tourist markets. It is a place of arid natural beauty, where resilient green cactuses and tenacious thorn trees fill the landscape, and bright yellow sunflowers can be seen following the sun’s arc across deep blue skies. Five gushing rivers divide this landscape: the Vaal, Orange, Modder, Harts and Riet, which give life to the region and its inhabitants
Frances Baard District is predominantly a mining and agricultural district, but also offers rich experiences in terms of culture and history.
What you can expect
- guided underground tours of an operational De Beers diamond mine
- the old-fashioned alluvial and diamond diggings
- the Big Hole and Open Mine Museum village
- the Kimberley Ghost Trail, a superb guided tour of the haunted corners of Kimberley
- Township Wonders – the famous ‘Township Number Two’ is one of the oldest such townships in South Africa, re-named Galeshewe after Kgosi (Chief) Galeshewe. It gives visitors a glimpse of everyday-life in a township, with traditional food and lovely African jazz to augment this authentic township experience.
- The Kimberley Archaeology Tour uncovers a wealth of significant rock art and archaeological sites at the McGregor Museum. It also captures the last 3 million years of Northern Cape history, through unique Stone Age and rock engraving sites, including the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre.
Anglo-Boer War battlefield: follow the N12 route from Kimberley to experience these reminiscent battlefields, as well as those of Magersfontein and Paardeberg.
The Rock Art Centre: just outside Kimberley on the Barkly West Road showcases brilliant contemporary San paintings, prints, fabrics, ceramics and curio crafts.
The Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme: it’s the biggest in the southern hemisphere, and is situated in the peninsula formed by the confluence of the Vaal and Harts rivers. These rivers run parallel for about 140 kilometers.
The Vaal River navigates the way to several attractive sites, with breakwater signs still visible; and features quaint villages with romantic names like Gong Gong, Beaumont’s Folly and Bosman’s Fortune.
Kimberley’s Lower Vaal and Riet Rivers: the unrivalled destination for stable yellow fish populations, yielding world-class catches of large-mouth and small- mouth yellow fish.
The Witsand Nature Reserve: is one of the most scenic eco-destinations in the Northern Cape, boasting luxury self-catering accommodation to write home about!
Its main feature is the 9km sensual, flowing white ‘roaring’ dunes that earned their name from the growling sound the sand makes when ‘disturbed’. The dunes are approximately 60m high.
Kamfersdam: Africa’s first breeding island for flamingos. It’s situated just outside Kimberley on the N12 route to Johannesburg. This newly constructed s-shaped island serves to protect flamingoes against dogs and humans. Proclaimed a Natural Heritage Site, this pan is a must-see for bird enthusiasts. It boasts some 186 bird species; at least 3 000 flamingos can be seen daily as they forage in the gently rippling water.
The Wine Cellars of the Diamond Fields: situated in the vicinity of the Orange-Vaal-Riet Rivers convergence, they’re one of the oldest north of the Orange River, with winemaker Ian Sieg at the helm. These cellars were founded in 1968, in Douglas.
Proud producers of the first South African champion young wine for an up-country cellar: the 1995 Red Jerepigo fortified wine. They bottle under the Avoca label.
Hartswater Cooperative: found in the fertile Vaalharts region, home to a range of the best cultivars. The abundance of water and sunshine gives the grapes a unique quality. Hartswater bottles under the Elements and Hinterland labels. This ultra-modern wine-making operation relies on excellence and consistent quality to produce award-winning fortified and natural wines.
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