Travelling from Upington to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the little town of Askham, 73 km from the park entrance at Twee Rivieren, is the last stop before entering one of the world’s largest conservation areas.
The Askham community developed around the school that has a boarding house which was built in 1931, and the Dutch Reformed Church of Askham that also serves the whole Kalahari.The Scottish land surveyor, Rodger Jackson, gave Askham its name when he surveyed farms in the Kuruman river in 1919. Various explanations are given for Jackson’s choice. Some say that Jackson named Askham after a town on the Irish coast. Others say that Jackson took the name from a farmer’s words: “Ask him”, or from the message he sent to request ingredients for his breakfast: “Ask ham!”.
Only a few kilometres from Askham is the police station at Witdraai. Built in 1931, the station was a breeding station for camels that were used for police patrols in the Kalahari. At one stage Witdraai had about 400 camels and supplied camels for police stations at Rietfontein, Obobogorag, Kuruman, Van Zylsrus, Deben and Olifantshoek. The original stock was imported from the Sudan. A statue was erected in front of the Upington police station in honour of the role that the camel played in policing the Kalahari until 1950, when the use of camels was suspended. For the traveller, Asham offers all one needs for your vehicle and yourself. Various guesthouses in and around the town offer comfortable accommodation. The people of the Kalahari, renowned for their hospitality, love spoiling guests with traditional cuisine like roosterkoek, juicy Kalahari lamb dishes, melktert and, in season, the sought after n’abba or Kalahari truffle.Since 2000 Askham is part of the Mier Municipality, with its head office in Rietfontein.
Temperature & weather conditions
The temperatures are typical of a desert climate in summer reaching between approximately 30°- 40°C during the day and the middle twenties in the evening. Winter goes to the other end of the scale with daylight temperatures measuring around 20°C and the evenings between 0°- 5°C.
(0545312) ask for Mier 19
Green Kalahari Tourism
Cell: 082 371 4549
Park Gate Hours:
Jan & Feb 06:00-19:30
June & July 07:30-18:00
Nov & Dec 05:30-19:30