Pofadder, Northern Cape
Did you know?
A group of Afrikaans travellers searching for a place to settle, known as the Trek Boers, arrived in Pofadder in 1889, attracted by its perennial spring. They started farming here and many of their descendants are still here today.
The town of Pofadder in the Kalahari in the Northern Cape got its name from a Khoi-Khoi chief named Klaas Pofadder. He and his people settled here in the 1800s because of a spring that provided them with sweet water in this thirsty land.
In 1875 when a mission station was established here, it was named after Klaas Pofadder, as was the town that followed.
Klaas’s surname is intriguing because the 'pofadder' or puffadder is one of South Africa’s deadliest snakes. Perhaps it was his character, or perhaps, apart from being a chief he was also a snake doctor. This was a highly revered position amongst traditional people, as only the snake doctors knew how to treat snakebites – a major cause of death back then.
Pofadder might look like a nondescript town in a nowhere part of the world, hence its association as South Africa’s Timbuktu. But actually, it is a magical world for those who know it. Koos Louw, now 85, knows it and has lived in Pofadder all his life.
‘I love this world. I was born here and my mother and father were born here, and their mothers and fathers were born here,’ says Louw, who farmed sheep here for many years and is now retired in the town. Apart from an attractive church and a good hotel, the town is not the attraction; it is the landscape that surrounds it.
‘I love the long roads, the mountains, the sand dunes and the underground water that feeds this dry land. I love the sheep and the flowers. It’s the most beautiful place!’ exclaims Louw.
In spring the region shows off its obvious beauty. Situated at the edge of the Namaqualand flower world, the landscape here simmers with colour in years of good rain. But out of season it just as magical, with a hidden beauty, rich with birds and desert animals. To experience this landscape, hiking, quad biking and 4x4 adventures are all offered, as is homegrown hospitality and delicious farm-fresh lamb.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27(0)54 933 0063?
Cell: Leon Brits +27(0)83 232 2563?
Quadbike and 4x4 trails
Cell: +27 (0)83 399 0891