Kathu is a town in South Africa, and the iron ore capital of the Northern Cape Province. Its name means "town under the trees", after the Camel Thorn forest it is situated in.

The phrase "the town under the trees" was coined by an engineer working in the town in the early 1990 as part of a tourist marketing drive, together with the accompanying graphic. It was intended to be a marketing slogan. The meaning of the word "Kathu" has anecdotically been attributed to a porridge brewed by the local population from the powder found in the pods of the Camel Thorn trees. Kathu was founded in the late 60's early 70's. Kathu is perfectly situated in between Upington and Vryburg with about a 2 hour drive to each. Kimberley is a 3 hour drive away. The magnitude of the open-cast mining operation at Kathu is difficult to describe, or even to portray on film, and visitors on guided tours never fail to be astounded by the sheer size of the operation and the equipment used to extract and transport the much sought after iron ore. Some of the world's longest goods trains travel through inhospitable and rugged terrain carrying their valuable iron ore cargo from Kathu to the port at Saldanha Bay.

Sishen Golf and Country Club

Situated on the outskirts of the town of Kathu in the Northern Cape Province, this is truly a unique setting in which to play a round of golf - the course winds its way through a 500 hectare Camelthorn forest on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Built and maintained by Sishen Iron Ore mine and officially opened in 1979, this is the last course designed by Robert (Bob) Grimsdell, which he unfortunately could not see completed. Considering its surroundings, its lush green fairways and greens have surprised many a visitor to this arid region.

Food parcels:

  • For breakfast / lunch / dinner available on request daily


  • Air conditioned
  • En-suite bathroom
  • DSTV in all the rooms
  • All units have fully equipped kitchens and are en-suite
  •  Wheelchair friendly rooms
  • Swimming Pool
  • Safes in rooms
  • Secure and shaded parking
  • Kathu Inn is also ideal for big groups and long stays.


  • Food parcels for breakfast / lunch / dinner available on request daily.
  • Kathu offers a wide range of dinning experiences.

List of events in and around the surrounding area.

Carnavon Fly-in
All day aircraft activities: sky diving & tandem for public participation. The combination of Aviation and Festive events during the Fly-In is a great attraction for visitors. The Carnarvon Fly-In brings all the various aspects of Aviation to the Karoo.

Location: Carnarvon

Richtersveld Wildrun
Four days & 150km of magnificent Richtersveld National Park desert running is the latest Wildrun offering from the Wildrunner team. This spectacular North Western desert frontier of South Africa is a magnificent mountainous geological hotch-potch, sliced through by South Africa’s longest river – the Orange. Add to the mix an icy cold Atlantic ocean and you have the recipe for a truly unique landscape populated by largely endemic plants & animals.

Location: /Ai /Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

1st Annual Walls of Arts (Learners) Exhibition
The walls of arts is an annual exhibition project for local Visual artists in the Province, sponsored by the National Arts Council of South Africa. The overall aim of the event is to develop learners in the arts section and to give a platform to budding artists to build their profiles.

Location: Mayibuye Arts Centre, Kimberley

Congress for the Association for Mathematics Education in SA
The aims of AMESA are, in general, to promote Mathematics Education and, in particular, to enhance the quality of the teaching and learning of mathematics by providing vision, leadership, and professional development to support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all learners.

Location: High School Diamantveld, Kimberley

Activities & Attractions

  • Kathu is packed full of interesting activities for the whole family.
  • Kathu Inn features a Swimming Pool on the premises.

Kathu Activities:

  • Absailing and 4×4 routes.
  • Boiterelo Duallery Centre.
  • Craft shop selling locally made jewellery.
  • Game Reserve.
  • Offering game and bird watching.
  • Khai-Appel Recreation Resort.
  • Camping and caravan facilities, fishing and horseriding.
  • Kumba Sportclub.
  • Badminton, golf, gymnasium, squash, swimming, tennis.
  • Mine Tour.
  • Guided tours of the world’s largest open-cast iron mine by appointment.
  • Awards & Accreditations As Claimed By The Establishment
  • AA Recommended
  • airport (less than 15km)
  • car hire (less than 20km)
  • horse riding (less than 5km)
  • kitchenette only
  • laundry facilities onsite
  • lock-up safe
  • outdoor pool
  • parking all onsite
  • restaurant onsite
  • tea / coffee making facilities
  • tumble dryer onsite
  • washing machine onsite