Northern Cape DestinationsGroblershoop, Green Kalahari
Situated in a land of contrasts, at the gateway to the Green Kalahari you will find the little village of Groblershoop. Imagine arid, undulating hills penetrated by the shimmering Orange River valley creating a green strip right through and providing life to its surroundings. The successful stock farming and wine production in the region is built on a solid foundation of hard work and a pioneering spirit of early residents. Both the people and the ancient donkey made its mark in the Groblershoop area!
On Charles Newberry’s farm named Winstead, 7 graves tell the story of battles fought nearby during the Rebellion in 1914. Development in the region was really set in motion by the construction of the Boegoeberg dam and water channels in 1929. The project was used by the government at the time to create jobs for hundreds of very poor white people. The name of the dam originates from the Boegoe plant that grows wild in the surrounding undulating hills. The plant was widely used in traditional medicine. The holiday resort at this beautiful shimmering dam is like a green oasis in the desert and is a popular hotspot for camping, angling, superb accommodation, skiing, canoeing and sailing.
The Groblershoop region is a major wine producing area. The cellar outside the town is one of 5 of the Oranjerivier Wine Cellars and the first on the Orange River Wine route. Oranjerivier Wine Cellars is the largest co-operative cellars in Africa and the second largest in the world. Groblershoop is currently a main source of export for large table grapes and sultana’s. A modern abattoir processes livestock from surrounding farms, while the local wine cellars boasts an annual intake of over 12 000 tons of grapes!
Situated just 30km south west of Groblershoop in the beautiful Esel Mountains, a natural ravine was formed. The water hole in the ravine fills up during the rainy season. This cycle must have been completed each year for centuries, as is witnessed by the mysterious footprint in the rock below the water hole. It seems as if some kind of donkey left its footprint in the mud. The mud then became fossilized which rendered the donkey’s slippery path visible until today. At the bottom of the ravine one can find some evidence of remains of lava. These interesting footprints are situated on private land, but can be visited by appointment.
Groblershoop boasts rich cultural heritage, beauty as well as a thriving community and economy. Experience and taste their enormous grapes and fantastic wines or visit one of the many cultural and historical sites. Though small and tranquil, there is plenty to discover here.