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Destination Details

Upington, South Africa

Upington is a town founded in 1884 and located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, on the banks of the Orange River. The town was named after Sir Thomas Upington, Attorney-General and then Prime Minister of the Cape. It originated as a mission station established in 1875 and run by Reverend Schröder. The mission station now houses the town museum, known as the Kalahari Orange Museum. The museum is also the home of a donkey statue, which recognises the enormous contribution that this animal made to the development of the region during the pioneering days of the 19th century.

 

The elevation of Upington is 2742 feet (835 metres). It is the closest large centre to the Augrabies Falls, arguably the greatest of South African waterfalls. The landscape is very arid but the soil is fertile and crops such as fruit are grown in irrigated fields. The area is best known for its export-quality grapes, raisins and wines, which are cultivated on the rich flood plains of the Orange river.

 

Wine Industry

Upington's most famous wines are produced by an organisation generally known as Orange River Wine Cellars (OWC). The organisation has six depots in the area (all of them on the banks of the Orange River) at Upington, Kanoneiland, Grootdrink, Kakamas, Keimoes and Groblershoop. The wines from OWC are exported, inter alia, to Europe and the USA.

 

Geography and climate

Upington is located on the northern banks of the Orange River and is surrounded by irrigated vineyards. The hottest month of the year is January, with average daily temperatures swinging from 36 °C (97 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F), while in the coolest month of July temperatures range between 21 °C (70 °F) and 4 °C (39 °F).Also the dryest month of the year, July sees an average rainfall of only 2 millimetres (0.079 in), while the wettest month of March sees 37 millimetres (1.5 in). Upington has been noted as being the sunniest location on the planet for three months of the year, from November through January.

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