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Introduction

Springbok is a town of about 15,000 inhabitants, located in the northwest of the Northern Cape province in South Africa. The town itself is not really attractive or full of sights, but it is a good base during the flowering season in Namakwa (August - early October) and also a stopover going north towards Namibia, south to Cape Town or east towards Upington and further on to the west of the country.

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Sights and Activities

Start your tour through Springbok in the city centre, which is situated around a hill called Klipkoppie. Here was an English fortress, burned down during the Anglo-Boer war by a troop of general Jan Smuts. After a short walk along Monument Street, you will reach the museum in an old synagogue. A bit further on is the entrance to the Blue Mine, the first commercial copper mine of South Africa, which started operations in 1852. Mining for diamonds and other gems started in recent times.

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Getting There

By Plane

There is a small airfield, but currently there are no commercial flights.

By Car

Springbok is at the crossroads of the N7 (south to Cape Town, north to the border with Namibia) and the N14 going west via Upington all the way to Johannesburg and Pretoria.

By Bus

Intercape has 4 weekly buses to Cape Town (7,5 hours) and Windhoek, Namibia (12 hours). Minibuses go to Cape Town (5 hours), Upington (3,5 hours) and Port Nolloth on the Atlantic coast (2,5 hours).

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Getting Around

The town of Springbok is nestled in a valley totally surrounded by hills. It is not very big and its attractions can easily be reached by foot.

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Eat

  • Springbok Lodge & Restaurant, corner of Voortrekker and Keerom Road. A meeting point for travellers and locals to have a bite to eat.
  • Nando's, Cnr. Vander Stel & Hospital Str. (Across Police Station), ☏ +27 27 718-1454. Till 10PM. Flame grill meals. Power point available.

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Sleep

  • Kokerboom Motel and Caravan Park, Van Riebeeck st, ☏ +27 27 712-2685, fax: +27 27 712-2017, ✉ kokerboom_motel@jcbotha.co.za. 2-star motel specially sited to view flowers from your bedroom. A la carte restaurant, ladies bar and conference facilities seating 100 - 120 people. Caravan sites with power points. Coin operated laundry with washer and dryer.
  • Masonic Hotel and Lodge, Van Riebeeck st, ☏ +27 27 712-1505, fax: +27 27 712-1730, ✉ masonichotel@jcbotha.co.za. Centrally situated 3-star hotel with all the luxuries. Full English breakfast, a la carte restaurant and ladies bar.
  • Mountain View Guest House, Overberg Ave, ☏ +27 27 712-1438, ✉ mountview@worldonline.co.za. 4-star B&B furnished in African style. Good view on the city and delicious food. From R280 pp.
  • Springbok Hotel, Van Riebeeck st, ☏ +27 27 712-1161, fax: +27 27 712-1932, ✉ springbokhotel@jcbotha.co.za. Beautiful 2-star colonial hotel situated in the centre of town with easy access. Ladies bar and conference facilities seating 25 - 30 people.
  • Naries Namaqua Retreat (27km Outside Springbok (N7) towards Kleinzee (R355), 8240 Goop, South Africa).

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Keep Connected

Internet

Big cities and most of the popular places in the country usually have an internet café though they are not as abundant as in, for example, Asia or South America. It's also relatively expensive, usually 20-30 rand an hour, sometimes even more. Many of the accommodation options have internet access available, either wireless with your own laptop or by their own computer(s). Wireless access is also available throughout the country in more and more cafes and eateries, sometimes free and sometimes for a small fee. Note that you usually have to login anyway and agree with the terms and conditions. It is cheapest to buy a prepaid cell phone starter pack (less than R10) and access the Internet with GPRS or 3G. Generally R2 per MB for out of bundle data from most providers (50c for Virgin Mobile), but it becomes a lot cheaper if you buy a data bundle. In general coverage is good except the more rural parts of the northern and northwestern parts of the country (especially Northern Cape).

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls). The general emergency number is 10111, ambulance is 10177 and police is 1011.

South Africa has very good phone facilities, which are also becoming more and more competitively priced, now that more operators are active on the market. The main ones are Neotel and Telkom South Africa. Local phone calls are cheap (about one Rand an hour), domestic long-distance calls are about twice as expensive. International calls start at around 6 Rand an hour but can be (much) higher to less usual countries. Note that public phones are about twice as cheap as new private phone centres. Phone calls tend to be the cheapest during the weekend and during business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm) on weekdays and more expensive during the evening and nights at weekdays.

There are also good mobile-phone facilities, with GSM and 3G networks. There are five cell phone providers in South Africa: Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C, Virgin Mobile and 8ta. SIM card prepaid starter kits are available from R10. You will need a passport and a proof of residential address and it has to be registered before you can call or receive calls. You can buy credit for prepaid phones just about everywhere, remembering you will usually need cash to do so from service stations.

Post

The SAPO (South African Post Office) is the nation's postal service. They have a track & trace system] for parcels as well. Post offices are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Domestic and international deliveries are reliable but can sometimes take up to several weeks. If you want to send something oversees of any value, try using one of the private mail services, like Postnet. Also international courier companies like TNT, UPS and DHL tend to be fast, very reliable and competitively priced.

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Springbok Travel Helpers

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This is version 5. Last edited at 12:24 on Aug 2, 19 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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