Upington is the main town of the Green Kalahari region. It straddles the Orange River at the point where the N14 and N10 highways intersect. The locals like to refer to it as the ‘River City’, but it’s really just a big town that hardly works itself up to a rush hour twice a day.
Upington is associated with hot summer days (up to 50º Celsius), and with the river drifting constantly by it unexpectedly has a holiday-town atmosphere on those balmy evenings.
The river is the focal point around which life here revolves, providing opportunities to fish, relax, and take a sundowner cruise on the double-decker Sakkie se Arkie.
Although in many aspects Upington is very much a Platteland town it has all the amenities any traveler would need - top class accommodation, and the Desert Palace Hotel and Casino Resort for those who want to try their luck.
Look out for
Kalahari Oranje Museum - was originally built as a church and mission station in 1875, and today exhibits items from that period as well as other articles of historical value.
Kalahari Dried Fruit Shop - is adjacent to the museum and sells produce grown and dried in the region.
Orange River Wine Cellars - is in the industrial area. This is the main cellar of the five-cellar co-operative that produces about thirty wines. They offer wine tasting and sales as well as tours of the cellar.
Palm Avenue - at over a kilometre in length, the avenue consists of more than 200 date palms that were planted in 1935, and today form one of the longest palm avenues in the Southern Hemisphere. To view, cross the river and turn into Die Eiland Holiday Resort.
Sakkie se Arkie - the double-decker ‘Arkie’ has an on-board bar and runs everyday during holiday season, on weekends and on bookings at other times.
Spitskop Nature Reserve - is named after the conical hill of balancing boulders alongside the R360, 13kms north of town. There’s a 37km gravel road network along which a slow drive will yield sightings of eland, gemsbok, zebra, wildebeest, and springbok. On top of the rocky mound there’s a telescope and stunning views over plains, dressed in green or gold, depending on the time of year and rainfall.