Gateway to the Kalahari

Upington was established on the banks of the Orange River in 1870 and has expanded rapidly to become the educational, commercial and agricultural centre of the Gordonia District in the Northern Cape.

©Karl Svendsen
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), Augrabies, Northern Cape.

The economy relies heavily on tourism and the flowers of Namaqualand, the Richtersveld are very important.

Situated in the heart of the Northern Cape, this small town is not the most glamorous urban destination, but still very much worth a visit. It is the gateway to the Kalahari and is en-route to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is around 250 km away and the Augrabies National Park, approx. 125 km, with its spectacular waterfall and adrenaline pumping river rafting. The Augrabies National Park is home to various wildlife, including Springbok, Klipspringers, Eland, Giraffe and Black Rhino, as well as prolific birdlife.

The Gariep River also supplies irrigation waters, sustaining the enormous green vineyards on the edge of the desert. When visiting Upington, don't forget your sunblock as this town is one of the hottest towns in South Africa, with an average summer temperature of over 40 degrees Celsius.

Access to Upington is via a small airport, with scheduled flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg. This town is quite remote, situated about 800 kilometres from Cape Town via the N7 and N14, and 400 kilometres from Kimberley via the N8 and N10.

History of Upington

The area between Upington and Augrabies Falls, an island strewn section of the Gariep River, was a stronghold for river pirates from way back when. Vagabonds, desperados, bandits, rustlers and renegades would hide out close to modern day Upington....more

Upington Attractions

On your visit to Upington check out the prominent local landmark, the Palm Tree Avenue, which leads to Die Eiland resort. Planted in 1934-35, the 1 041-m-long avenue has over 220 palms and is the longest such avenue in the southern hemisphere....more

Visit Upington

Upington is an oasis surrounded by the harsh Kalahari landscape; a fertile place that offers travellers a peaceful and pleasant stopover. It is located on the Kokerboom Food and Wine Route...more