Hopetown, Upper Karoo

The first diamond discovered in South Africa was found at Hopetown. It was the 23,25 carat Eureka, and soon after its discovery the 83,5 carat Star of Africa was found nearby. It was the discovery of this second diamond which started the great South African diamond rush.

Hopetown lies at the edge of the Great Karoo on an arid slope leading down to the Orange River, named by the great explorer Colonel Robert Gordon in honour of William Prince of Orange. The Bushmen called this The Great River, "Nu Gariep", as it carries 23 per cent of the total water run -off of South Africa to the sea. Hopetown serves the surrounding fruit, stock, wheat and potato farms. The Gazella Game Reserve, on the banks of the Orange River, provides sanctuary for gemsbok, eland, kudu and springbok.

The ultimate outdoor experience in the vicinity includes white water rafting, game-viewing, bird-watching and hiking.

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