Aerial view of Upington's Central Business District
|• Type||Local Municipality|
|• Mayor||Limakatso Koloi (ANC)|
|• Total||580.8 km2 (224.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||835 m (2,740 ft)|
|• Density||130/km2 (330/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||25.6%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
|Postal code (street)|
|Area code||+27 (0)54|
Upington (Nama: //Khara hais) is a town founded in 1873 and located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, on the banks of the Orange River. The town was originally called Olijvenhoutsdrift ('Olive wood drift'), due to the abundance of olive wood trees[ clarification needed ] in the area, but later renamed after Sir Thomas Upington, Attorney-General and then Prime Minister of the Cape. It originated as a mission station established in 1871 and run by Reverend Christiaan Schröder. The mission station now houses the town museum, known as the Kalahari Orange Museum. The museum is also the home of a donkey statue, which recognises the enormous contribution that this animal made to the development of the region during the pioneering days of the 19th century.
The elevation of Upington is 2,742 feet (835 metres). It is the closest large centre to the Augrabies Falls (arguably the greatest of South African waterfalls) and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The landscape is very arid but the soil is fertile and crops such as fruit are grown in irrigated fields. The area is best known for its export-quality grapes, raisins and wines, which are cultivated on the rich flood plains of the Orange River.
On 13 November 1985, a black policeman was killed following a disturbance at a political meeting in Paballelo, a black township on the outskirts of Upington. Twenty-six people were charged with the killing, of whom twenty-five were convicted of murder on the basis of common purpose, and one convicted of attempted murder. Fourteen were sentenced to death, although the death sentences were later overturned on appeal.In 2011, a memorial in honour of the Upington 26 was unveiled in Upington by Hazel Jenkins, the Premier of the Northern Cape. In 2014, the Australian film A Common Purpose was made about the case.
Upington's most famous wines are produced by an organisation known as Orange River Cellars. The organisation has six depots in the area (all of them on the banks of the Orange River) at Upington, Kanoneiland, Grootdrink, Kakamas, Keimoes and Groblershoop. Their wines are exported, inter alia, to Europe and the USA.
Upington Airport has scheduled flights provided by SA Airlink (an affiliate of South African Airways).One of the airport's runways is 4,900 m in length, the unusually long runway allowed Boeing 747 aircraft to use the airport for refuelling stops on long-haul flights.
In the first half of the 20th century, there was a passenger train service from Cape Town to Upington. Until the 1950s, a narrow-gauge railway line (two-foot gauge) ran from Upington to Kakamas and Keimoes, two nearby towns. The trains carried passengers and freight, being mainly dried fruit. The line to Kakamas was still in use during the November 2010 grape harvest season.
Shopping in Upington is characterised by High Street shopping, with most stores located along Scott, Schroder, Nelson Mandela and Mark Streets. Upington has a mall, which is the area's first super-regional mall. The Kalahari mall is anchored by Game, Checkers, Spar, Woolworths, Tiger Wheel & Tyre and clothing stores, banks and restaurants. It is located on the corner of Van Riebeeck and Malherbe Streets.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Upington is located on the northern banks of the Orange River and is surrounded by irrigated vineyards. 36 °C (97 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F), while in the coolest month of July temperatures range between 21 °C (70 °F) and 4 °C (39 °F). Also the driest month of the year, July sees an average rainfall of only 2 millimetres (0.079 in), while the wettest month of March sees 37 millimetres (1.5 in). Upington has been noted as being the sunniest location on the planet for three months of the year, from November through January.The hottest month of the year is January, with average daily temperatures swinging from
Upington has a hot desert climate (BWh) with long, hot summers and short, mild winters. Precipitation peaks during late summertime.
|Climate data for Upington (1961−1990, extremes 1951–1990)|
|Record high °C (°F)||42.3|
|Average high °C (°F)||35.5|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||27.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||19.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||6.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||24|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||3||4||4||3||1||1||0||1||1||2||2||2||24|
|Average relative humidity (%)||33||39||44||49||49||50||45||39||35||33||31||30||40|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||352.9||298.7||297.5||283.5||290.5||270.3||289.8||307.3||300.2||328.9||345.2||367.0||3,731.8|
|Source 1: NOAA, Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes)|
|Source 2: South African Weather Service|
Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, north of South Africa. Botswana occupies an area of 581,730 square kilometres (224,610 sq mi), of which 566,730 km2 (218,820 sq mi) are land. Botswana has land boundaries of combined length 4,347.15 kilometres (2,701.19 mi), of which the constituent boundaries are shared with Namibia, for 1,544 km (959 mi); South Africa 1,969 km (1,223 mi); Zimbabwe, 834 km (518 mi) and Zambia, 0.15 km (0.093 mi). Much of the population of Botswana is concentrated in the eastern part of the country.
The Orange River is a river in Southern Africa. It is the longest river within the borders of South Africa and the Orange River Basin extends extensively from Lesotho into South Africa and Namibia to the north. It rises in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho, flowing westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. The river forms part of the international borders between South Africa and Lesotho and between South Africa and Namibia, as well as several provincial borders within South Africa. Except for Upington, it does not pass through any major cities. The Orange River plays an important role in the South African economy by providing water for irrigation and hydroelectric power. The river was named the Orange River in honour of the Dutch ruling family, the House of Orange, by the Dutch explorer Robert Jacob Gordon. Other names include simply the word for river, in Khoekhoegowab orthography written as !Garib, which is rendered in Afrikaans as Gariep River with the intrusion of a velar fricative in place of the alveolar click, Groote River or Senqu River, derived from ǂNū "Black".
Upington Airport is an airport located in Upington, Northern Cape, South Africa. At 4900 metres, runway 17/35 is one of the longest runways in the world. The high elevation of the airport, extremely high summer temperatures and the fact that it was designed for the Boeing 747 necessitated the extreme length of the main runway.
The Northern Cape is the largest and most sparsely populated province of South Africa. It was created in 1994 when the Cape Province was split up. Its capital is Kimberley. It includes the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and an international park shared with Botswana. It also includes the Augrabies Falls and the diamond mining regions in Kimberley and Alexander Bay.
Kuruman is a town with just over 13,000 inhabitants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. It is known for its scenic beauty and the Eye of Kuruman, a geological feature that brings water from deep underground. The abundance of water produce an unexpected swathe of green amidst the barren plains and is known as the Oasis of the Kalahari. It was at first a mission station of the London Missionary Society founded by Robert Moffat in 1821. It was also the place where David Livingstone arrived for his first position as a missionary in 1841. The Kuruman River, which is dry except for flash floods after heavy rain, is named after the town.
Jacobsdal is a small farming town in the Free State province of South Africa with various crops under irrigation, such as grapes, potatoes, lucerne and groundnuts. The town was layout in 1859 by Christoffel Jacobs on his farm Kalkfontein, and today houses 6,500 inhabitants.
The R359 is a regional route in the Northern Cape province of South Africa that runs along the south bank of the Orange River from Augrabies Falls through Augrabies and Kakamas to Upington.
The R360 is a Regional Route in South Africa that connects Upington with the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and the Namibian border. It passes through Askham and Andriesvale.
South African wine has a history dating back to 1659, with the first bottle produced in Cape Town by its founder Jan van Riebeeck. Access to international markets led to new investment in the South African wine market. Production is concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and production centres at Constantia, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester. There are about 60 appellations within the Wine of Origin (WO) system, which was implemented in 1973 with a hierarchy of designated production regions, districts and wards. WO wines must only contain grapes from the specific area of origin. "Single vineyard" wines must come from a defined area of less than 5 hectares. An "Estate Wine" can come from adjacent farms if they are farmed together and wine is produced on site. A ward is an area with a distinctive soil type or climate and is roughly equivalent to a European appellation.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Keimoes–Upington is a diocese located in the city of Keimoes–Upington in the Ecclesiastical province of Bloemfontein in South Africa.
Kakamas is a town founded in 1898 and located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, on the banks of the Orange River.
The N10 is a national route in South Africa connecting Port Elizabeth on the Eastern Cape coast with the Namibian border at Nakop, via Cradock, De Aar and Upington.
The N14 is a national route in South Africa which runs from Springbok in the Northern Cape to Pretoria in Gauteng. It passes through Upington, Kuruman, Vryburg, Krugersdorp and Centurion. The section between Pretoria and Krugersdorp is maintained by the Gauteng Provincial government and is also designated the P158.
Kenhardt is a small town in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. This little town is about 120 km from Upington, the largest town in the area.
The ǀXam and ǂKhomani heartland tentative World Heritage Site consists of regions located to the South and North of Upington, respectively, in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The ǀXam and ǂKhomani people were linguistically related groups of San (Bushman) people, their respective languages being part of the ǃKwi language group. Descendants of both the ǀXam and Nǁnǂe include Afrikaans-speaking ‘Coloured’ people on farms or in towns in the region amongst whom the precolonial languages are either entirely extinct or can be spoken by but a very few people.
//Khara Hais Local Municipality was a local municipality in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. It fell within the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality and governs the town of Upington and surrounding rural areas. As of 2011 it the municipality has a population of approximately 93,500 people, and covers an area of 21,780 square kilometres (8,410 sq mi). The unusual spelling of the name comes from the original transcription of the Khwe language name, where the click consonant became "//".
The battle of Kakamas took place in Kakamas, Northern Cape Province of South Africa on 4 February 1915. It was a skirmish for control of two river fords over the Orange River between contingents of a German invasion force and South African armed forces. The South Africans succeed in preventing the Germans gaining control of the fords and crossing the river.
Keimoes is a town in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. It lies on the Orange River and is about halfway between Upington and Kakamas.
Askham is a village in the Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality in the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Askham lies not far from the confluence of the mostly dry Molopo and Kuruman Rivers in the Red Kalahari Desert, about 200 km north of Upington at the junction of the R31 and the R360 roads.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Upington .|