Did you know?
Colesberg is named after Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, a former governor of the Cape Colony. It's earlier name was Towerberg (after the koppie overlooking the town).
Travellers on the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape Town often stop over for the night in the historical Northern Cape town of Colesberg.
Their sojourns are normally all too brief. Colesberg, set snugly in a ring of little hills, has a lot more to offer than an overnight bed. Take the newly established Colesberg Walking Tour, for instance.
Pop in at the local tourist information offices in Murray Street and someone there will organise you a guide for a fascinating three-hour tour through Colesberg.
The area has seen waves of settlement over the past few millennia. First, the Stone Age folk roamed these hills, hunting the antelope that moved through the surrounding area.
And later came the trekboer (nomadic farmer) who, with livestock herds, was in constant search of new pastures. The trekboers were followed by the missionaries, who set up a number of stations and tried to convert the local /Xam San to their congregation. Finally, the settlers arrived and established some kind of formal government – and a settlement called Colesberg in 1830.
The first few decades of Colesberg resembled the first few decades of Tombstone, Arizona, in the United States – they were both gunfighters’ towns, unruly places full of wandering hunters, adventurers, thieves and cutthroats, mostly moving northwards in search of greener pastures.
Gunpowder and liquor were the coin of the day until law and order were established.
The slow rhythms of Colesberg were disturbed at the turn of the 19th century by the South African War (also often known as the Anglo-Boer War). Battles between Briton and Boer were fought all over the koppies (hills) surrounding the town.
Your historical Colesberg Walking Tour will include visits to the Colesberg-Kemper Museum, various churches, the stone magistrate's court, various Karoo-style houses, some old shops in the main street and, possibly, lunch at a former horse mill that currently does duty as a bar and restaurant.
Visit the various cemeteries, ask your guide about a tour of the local township or, if you’re feeling particularly active, unstrap those mountain bikes from your vehicle and take on a listed Colesberg mountain bike trail.
Colesberg is most famous for its racehorse-breeding farms. If you wish to extend your stay in the area, a night spent on a local guest farm would be just the ticket.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Colesberg Tourism Information
Tel: +27 (0)51 753 0678