Situated at the junction of the N7 and N14, 550km north of Cape Town, Springbok is the biggest town in Namaqualand and is often referred to as the capital of the region. As with many towns in Namaqualand, Springbok is synonymous with springtime and the renowned wild flower displays that occur in the surrounding area during this period.
The nearby Goegap Nature Reserve is its premier viewing area with a visitor centre, a circular drive accessible to all vehicles, 4x4 routes, nature trails and picnic sites.
The town itself spreads below a series of granite domes. It has a good infrastructure of tourist facilities and is the last place to stock up with essentials when heading off on adventures to the Diamond Coast and Richtersveld.
For most of the year Springbok retains a peaceful platteland atmosphere, but during flower season it’s abuzz with blossom spotters, many of whom start their visit to the region here.
Look out for
Wild flower displays - this is the number one attraction in spring. The blooms can be seen on any number of short drives but visitors shouldn’t miss the 15 000ha Goegap Nature Reserve 15km south-east of Springbok. Goegap encompasses 600 indigenous flower species found amongst the granite hills and sandy plains so typical of Namaqualand.
The Namaqualand Museum is in the old synagogue. There’s also a tiny stone church next to the museum and an old graveyard up on the hill.
Monument Koppie - in the centre of town is a small hillock that was wrested from the British by Boer forces during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).
Mining relics - serious copper mining in the area dates back to the mid-1800s and there are a number of reminders of this prosperous era around Springbok, including a smelter chimney in town. Up the road from Springbok are two small mining settlements, Nababeep and Okiep.
Nababeep lies 20km to the north-west of Springbok. The main reason to visit here is to explore the Mining Museum.
Okiep - just off the N7 and 8km north of Springbok, was the world’s richest copper mine until production ceased in 1918. A smokestack built in 1880 can be seen next to the hotel.
Birding enthusiasts may be interested to know that the ‘fundi’s’ say the best sightings in the Springbok area occur in the stiflingly warm month of February.