Upington is situated quite intimately on the banks of the Orange River and its adjacent areas (which is one of the oldest and largest rivers in South Africa). The town of Upington stretches out over an area of 471 769 hectares.
Rich in culture and history, Upington can trace its roots back to 1870, when a chieftain from the Hottentot clan, realizing the value of reading and writing, wanted his people to acquire these skills. His appeal to have a mission station erected at Olyfenhoutsdrift was granted, and it was the Reverend Christiaan Schröder who was sent to initiate these changes. Being quick to realise the potential for good irrigation possibilities along the river, Reverend Schröder and Japie Lutz lay building foundations and hand dug the irrigation canals, some of which are still in use today. Thus was the start of the town of Upington. Since 1880 the town has expanded rapidly and is now the commercial, agricultural and educational centre of the Gordonia district. Another piece of history is the story of the “Upington 26” about a policeman who was killed in the township of Paballelo and the dramatic and tumultuous trial that followed. More information and history can be found at the Kalahari Oranje Museum, which was originally the first church built here.
Also take a trip back in time with a tour through the home of the Reverend Schröder, which is still perfectly preserved. The economy relies on tourism, the service industry and agriculture, where significant volumes of produce are exported to Europe. Many companies have also established their head offices in Upington. There is a wide range of shops in Upington, where one is able to purchase most - if not all - of ones requirements.
All of the main roads and streets are tarred and Upington is linked to all major South African cities by air, rail and road. The airport has the longest tarred runway in the southern hemisphere measuring 4 900 m; there are three other runways with 6 landing directions. Making it very convenient for visitors, most of the banks are also able to assist with foreign exchange and travellers cheques.
There are also complete medical and healthcare services provided by two hospitals and a number of clinics. Excellent educational facilities are available with the Northern Cape Technicon being situated here, as well as various secondary, primary and preparatory schools. The suburbs are incredibly picturesque with an array of tastes and styles in gardening and homes to be found.
Temperature & weather conditions
Summer temperatures vary between 30°C and 40°C. Winter temperatures during the day usually reach around 25°C, while the night temperatures, although averaging between 4°C and 10°C can drop to 0°C or just below. The climate is generally dry; however, in summer, due to the town being situated on the banks of the Orange River, varying levels of humidity have been recorded. The annual average rainfall is low.