Orania, Orange River, Northern Cape, South Africa


The village, originally built and used by the Department of Water Affairs, stood empty and neglected for several years. Today, Orania is a thriving little town and is alive with enthusiasm. The aim of the town is to create a stronghold for Afrikaans and the Afrikaner identity by keeping their language and culture alive.

Although it is one of the more interesting cultural destinations in South Africa, Orania is often overlooked. Situated on the R369, about 50km from Hopetown on the N12, this small town occupies an idyllic position on the banks of the Gariep (Orange) River.

Soon after his release, Nelson Mandela visited Orania and had tea with Betsie Verwoerd, widow of Hendrik Verwoerd - the acknowledged architect of Apartheid. Yes, South Africa is full of surprises.

There is much to do at Orania and visitors to this town will find plenty to keep them occupied. Bird watching, fishing and water sports are all catered for at Orania. Visitors can also see the rock art engravings found on the ridges surrounding Orania. Before leaving this town, visitors must stop at the Koeksister Monument for fun photographic opportunities!

Orania is a summer rainfall area, and, typically Karoo, the summer days are very hot with temperatures ranging between 30 and 38 degrees, but cooler at night. The winter nights can be very cold, in spite of lovely, sunny days.