Olifantshoek : Accommodation & Points Of Interest

Olifantshoek

Olifantshoek

Olifantshoek is the only town that lies at the foot of the Lange Mountains in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The town which is situated on the Namakwari Route has a natural beauty and tranquillity about it, boasting an abundance of adventure, natural wonders and cultural artefacts that can be explored by all enthusiasts. It is said that the town was named after elephants because the farm on which it is founded was purchased using the tusk of an elephant. Olifantshoek, which directly translated from Afrikaans, means Elephant Corner has also been the site of many elephant bones.

For those who enjoy the outdoors Olifantshoek has a couple of rewarding hiking trails, two of which are definitely worth the effort, The Neylan and the Pudu hiking trails. The area is also of interest to archaeologists out there with the Meerlust and Pan Heuwel farms being the sites of numerous San Rock art paintings and engravings which depict the San way of life as well as their fascinating hunting stories. For those who prefer more recent history, 1897 saw battles being fought between the inhabitants of the old Transvaal and the Tswana groups on the western perimeter of the old Transvaal Republic. The battles were names Galeshewe's War and one of the burial sites from this war can be found on the Fuller Farm.

The area is also home to the roaring white sand dunes of Witsand Nature Reserve. The light coloured dunes are believed to have been formed by a range of hills hidden beneath the sand. Over millions of years a natural reservoir that lies beneath the dunes has washed the red oxides out of the sands, leaving behind the white dunes which contrast against the rust-red sands of the Kalahari. During very hot and dry conditions in the area, countless millions of grains of sand rub together to emit a deep reverberating hum. Although the Witsand area is warm all year round, the best time to experience this extraordinary phenomenon is during the summer months. To clearly here the sound of the sands visitors should be within a close proximity of the dunes.

The Olifantshoek area also supports a wide variety of small mammals, including meerkats, pangolins and aardvarks. Larger antelope like the red hartebeest, springbok, kudu and gemsbok can also be seen in the vicinity. For those who enjoy the night sky there are also guided star gazing tours which take place among the dunes, these are well worth booking as the Northern Cape's vast, unpolluted skies are truly spectacular.

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