This historic town stands alongside the main N1 highway, 778km from Cape Town and 624km from Johannesburg. The junction with the N9 is also here, so Colesberg plays host to traffic from two main arteries. The town slumbers in a natural basin, surrounded by picturesque Karoo koppies of balancing dolerite rocks where leopards once roamed and lions roared.
Established in 1830, Colesberg retains a number of its old buildings, interspersed with modern architecture. Gone are the days when this was a sleepy one-horse town. Because of its central position it is well-situated as an overnight stop and is very popular with travellers.
There are more beds here than in any other town in the Karoo. It is also an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area via day trips to the impressive waters of the Vanderkloof Dam and Lake Gariep. For a Karoo town it has a frenetic bustle during the day, but at night it’s as sleepy as the travellers who come here to break their journey. There is a good infrastructure with a wide choice of accommodation and restaurants. The area around Colesberg is known for its stud farms and for rearing superior quality racehorses. Here many of the country’s top merino sheep are bred.
Look out for
The Colesberg Kemper Museum is located in the old bank building dating back to 1861. It has a number of displays including Anglo Boer War photographs and artefacts.
Architecture - the Karoo is blessed with an abundance of architectural styles and Colesberg is no different. There are a number of impressive churches here too.
Traditional crafts - behind the museum is a community co-op of traditional crafts. These include pottery, clothing, beadwork, wirework and leatherwork.
The Horse Mill - this is the best-preserved horse mill in the country. The wooden milling mechanism was brought piece-by-numbered-piece from a farm and re-erected in the old wagon house. The added bonus is that it’s a pub as well.
Anglo Boer War - Colesberg served as the southern front in the early days of the War. Graves, fortifications, memorials, battlefields and campsites can be seen in and around the town.