Skip to main content

The Orange River Wine Route: Explore the Green Kalahari in South Africa

The Orange River Wine Route
Explore the Green Kalahari in South Africa

In the middle of a semi-desert area in the Northern Cape region of South Africa, the so-called Green Kalahari stretches improbably on either side of the Orange River, or Orange-Senqu River -- a wine route that has become a favourite of tourists and locals alike. Upington, Keimoes, Kakamas, Groblershoop and Grootdrink are the towns you'll find stretched along the river.

Larger than Germany, the Northern Cape is the most sparsely populated region of South Africa, and includes a variety of landscapes and environments from savannahs to semi-arid areas of red sand dunes to the green valley of the Orange River.

How to Get Here:
The N8 will get you as far as Upington. From there you can make a base camp, or keep driving till you hit the N10 at Groblershoop. Continuing northwest along the west bank of the river, you'll soon reach the N14. Vineyards extend about 300km on either side of the river. You can cover the whole route in about two days with frequent stops along the way -- Keimoes, Kakamas and Upington on one day, and Groblershoop and Grootdrink on another.

The Wines
The Orange River creates the slightly cooler micro-climate where vinyards thrive, and the region is known for its quality grapes, including sultana, columbard, chenin, and hanepoort varieties. The majority of wines produced here are white, including semi-sweet wines, dessert wines, and blended varieties, with a small amount of reds too.

About 850 farmers in the area supply grapes to the five Orange River Cellars, a co-op that was founded in 1965. There are cellars in Upingtnon, Kakamas, Keimoes, Grootdrink, and Groblershoop. Together, they produce about 30 different wines.

You can visit the five Orange River Cellars for wine tastings and tours. Cellar tours are free and are offered Mondays to Fridays and Saturday mornings during the harvest season from January to March. The cellars are open year round for wine tastings, which cost R10 for five wines and R20 for 10 wines.

You'll also find small, private wineries and vineyards, many that offer B&B accommodations, restaurants, and other amenities.

Orange River Cellars – 054 337 8800 /
Bezalel Wine & Brandy Estate – 054 491 1325 /
Die Mas – 054 431 0245 / 082 931 5902 /
Douglas Wine Cellar – 053 298 8315

Other Attractions in/near the Green Kalahari:
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, or Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is Africa’s first transfrontier park, straddling Botswana and South Africa at the border with Namibia. It covers almost 3.7 million hectares of largely arid land, including red sand dunes and dry riverbeds. It is an important sanctuary for gemsbok, springbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, eland, lion, leopard, cheetah and smaller game. Camping is available in the park. RESERVATIONS +27 12 428 9111

The Augrabies Falls National Park, where the Orange River begins with a 56m drop of rushing waters down a series of granite cataracts. Augrabies Falls National Park – 012 428 9111 /

If you like an active vacation, you'll enjoy adventure sports like white water rafting, parasailing on the many pans in the region, micro light glides above the undulating red dunes and jagged mountains of Riemvasmaak and the Mier Kalahari with its 35 to 40 meters high sand dunes. For the less adventurous traveller there is an abundance of hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, bird watching, game drives in the national and many exquisite private game reserves, camping and fly-in safaris.

Belurana River Boutique Hotel
Stay in a gracious 4-star boutique hotel on the banks of the Orange River. Rooms are spacious and feature elegant decor. There's a private patio overlookign the river, and an Olympic sized swimming pool on the landscaped grounds. Amenities include free Wifi, breakfast, and dinners available with 24 hours notice.

2 Brug Street | Die Dorp, Upington 8801, South Africa
Phone: +27 (0) 54 332 4323
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 925 3029
Address: 2 Brug Street, Upington


Popular posts from this blog

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …