Kuruman, Kalahari

Lying in the heart of the Kalahari it might be, but Kuruman is one of those special places endowed with incredible picturesque scenery and a unique beauty.

All of this is attributable to a natural fountain in the centre of Kuruman, known as ‘the Eye’ or ‘Ga-Segonyana’ - small water calabash with bubbling water, which delivers between 20 and 30 million litres of water every day to the village. There is a legend attached to this distinctive trick of nature that says that those who drink from the crystal clear spring may never want to leave Kuruman, and it’s no surprise to learn that the little village is thriving or that it is known as ‘oasis of the Kalahari’.

Numerous minerals are mined in the area - the world’s richest deposits of crocidolite, a gray-blue to leek-green fibrous form of the mineral riebeckite, more commonly known as blue asbestos, are found in the vicinity of Kuruman.

Kuruman lies virtually on the edge of the Kalahari at the foot of a range of low hills, so one can easily imagine the possible extreme temperatures experienced here. But the sheer beauty of Kuruman, and the fact that it lies on the main route between Gauteng and Namibia/Cape Town via Upington makes it a popular place to stop, particularly because its beauty is so unique and largely unspoilt.

There’s a nature reserve, called Billy Duvenhage, just 2 kilometres along the Kathu Road, which is home to several game and bird species and doesn’t allow fishing in a bid to protect endangered species. And the world-famous Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park begins in the Kalahari, an unbelievably beautiful escape into 3,6 million hectares of desert.

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