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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Hopetown



Photo © Johan van Zyl

Northern Cape

Hopetown was founded in 1850 as an extension to the Cape Colony. It is located on the banks of the Orange River. The town was sited near a ford across the Orange River. In 1884 a railway bridge was constructed over the river.

The nature of the town changed dramatically when diamonds were discovered in the area in 1867. Two notable diamonds found in the area were the "Eureka Diamond" (23.25 carats) and the "Star of South Africa" (83.5 carats).

Hopetown was named after William Hope who was Auditor-General and Secretary of the Cape Colony Government.

Today the town serves the local farms that produce crops such as wheat, potato's and fruit. There are also a number of stock farms.

Visitors will find a number of things to see in this small town including the Old Wagon Bridge which was constructed prior to the Boer War, the Concentration Camp Cemetary, the Blockhouse and a few memorials. Another interesting thing is the Convict Stone. Prisoners were secured to the stone as there was no jail at the time.

Hopetown vicinity

Flat landscape around Hopetown

Photo © Johan van Zyl


References and further reading

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 346

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 309

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 173

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 116

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 54

Things ewe never kn'ewe about South African place names - Author: Ann Gadd - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 99

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