Upington is situated on the banks of the Orange River in the Northern Cape, surrounded by bright green irrigated vineyards. This area is known as the Green Kalahari. (The rest of the Kalahari, while not actually a true desert, is classified as thirstland, and is most definitely not green, except after exceptional rainfall in the region.)
Upington is a pleasant town with some lovely guest houses, hotels and restaurants. The Kalahari Oranje Museum Complex offers an insight into the history of the rather hardy folk who have made this town their home over the last couple of hundred years. The museum sells beautifully packaged dried fruit from the enormous South African Dried Fruit Co-operative just outside the town. Upington is the principal town and commercial, educational and social centre of the Green Kalahari and the centre of the Orange River wine region. You could do a wine tasting in town at a co-op of five different wine cellars. The well known island in the Orange River boasts one of the longest and most dense date palm avenues in the southern hemisphere that is over a kilometre long.
Askham developed around the school that was built in 1931, and the Dutch Reformed Church. It is a quiet little town situated about 185km north of Upington on the road to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Danielskuil lies at the foot of the Kuruman Hills, 90km south of Kuruman and forms the eastern border of the Green Kalahari region. According to tradition, the town got its name from the fact that the Griqua leader Adam Kok I used a 6 metre deep snake infested sinkhole in the dolomite limestone as a prison. This story reminded early white settlers of the Biblical story of Daniel in the lion's den, prompting them to rename the town from the 1816 name of "Fraaifontein" to the current name in use since 1820.
The story of Groblershoop, 109 km east of Upington, started in the 1870s when pioneering white farmers settled in the area. In the 1890s, a hydroelectric generator and pump was build by A. J. Litchfield, who submitted a propsal for a dam and canal in 1895. The Boegoeberg Dam was build in 1933 and is the third largest dam in the Orange River. Groblershoop was founded as an administrative center in 1936 and was named after Piet Grobler, minister of land affairs at the time.
The town of Kakamas, situated 41km west of Keimoes, was born out of the farms Kakamas, Zoetap and Neus when the government of the then Cape Colony decided in 1893 to reserve land on the banks of the Orange River for the Dutch Reform Church to estasblish a "labour colony" for "poor white" farmers who had become destitute after the drought of 1895 to 1897 and the outbreak of rinderpest among local cattle in 1896.
The town of Kanoneiland, situated 12km northeast of Keimoes, is the largest island in the Orange River and the largest inland island in South Africa. It is 14km long and 13km at it widest, covering an area of 2500 hectares
The town of Keimoes is situated 40km southwest of Upington on the N14 and produces sultanas, a large variety of grapes, lucerne, wheat and fruits under irrigation.
Olifantshoek lies in a valley on the eastern slopes of the Langberge. From Upington in the west, the road follows the Orange River northeast along its northern bank, clinging close to the river for the first 40km of the N14. The vegetation improves gradually towards the Langeberge mountain range that forms the western perimeter of the vast plateau on which the mining towns of Kuruman, Postmasburg and Danielskuil are located.
Postmasburg has its origins in a London Missionary Society station called Sibiling. as more Griqua settlers moved into the area, it developed into a rural settlement called Bliknklip. When the white migrating stock farmers moved into the area, the need for a church arose. A villiage was formally proclaimed on 6 June 1892 and named after the Reverend Dirk Postma, one of the founders of the Dutch Reformed Church.