Upington, Northern Cape

Upington, Northern Cape

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Upington
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motto = Progressus ("Progress")

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image_caption = Upington from the air

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map_caption1 = Map of South Africa showing Upington's location

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = South Africa
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Northern Cape
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leader_title =Mayor
leader_name = Maropene Ntuli [http://www.siyanda-dm.co.za/index.php]
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established_title = Established
established_date = 1884 [http://www.sa-venues.com/attractionsnc/upington.htm]
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population_as_of = 2007
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population_total = 101,504
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timezone = SAST
utc_offset = +2
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latd=28 |latm=24 |lats= |latNS=S
longd=21 |longm=16 |longs= |longEW=E
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elevation_m = 836
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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 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 recognizes 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.


The Khara Hais municipality, which encompasses Upington and neighbouring settlements, has a population of 101,504 [http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=1157418478&men=gpro&lng=en&des=gamelan&dat=200&srt=npan&col=aohdfimq&geo=221564123] , according to the 2008 calculation. Of these, 64.4% were Coloured, 19.8% African, 15.7% White and 0.1% Asian. The city has a small Somali trading community.

Geography and climate

Wine Industry

Upington's most famous wines are produced by an organization generally know as Orange River Wine Cellars (OWC). The organization 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. Dig a little deeper and you'll find privately owned cellars, producing quality red and white wines as well. Bezalel Dyasonsklip offers a variety of local treasures, such as low tanin red wines, 5 year old Pot-stilled brandy, a mampoer range and liquers. The Upington region accounts for more or less 40% of South Africa's grape exports.

Famous Upington people

*Alice Krige - South African Actress
*Scotty Smith - South African Bandit, "Robin Hood of the Kalahari"
*Shaleen Surtie-Richards - South African Actress


location map|South Africa
label = Upington
lat_deg = 28
lat_min = 24
lat_sec = 0
lon_deg = 21
lon_min = 16
lon_sec = 0
Upington has a modern airport with scheduled flights provided by [http://www.flysaa.com SA Airlink] (an affiliate of South African Airways) and non-scheduled flights by [http://www.upington.com Walker Flying Services] . The airport's runway, spanning 4900m [cite web| title=Upington|work=World Aero Data|publisher=Avigation Networks, Inc.| url=http://worldaerodata.com/wad.cgi?id=SF69746&sch=FAUP|accessdate=2008-03-26] , is one of the longest in the world and the longest in Africa. Until the 1960s, the airport was also the sight of the annual gliding world championshipsFact|date=August 2008.

In the first half of the 20th century there was a passenger train service from Cape Town to Upington but it is not clear whether this service is still in existence. Until the 1950s a narrow-gauge railway line (two foot gauge) ran from Upington to Kakamas and Keimoes, two nearby towns. The trains carried passengers and freight, being mainly dried fruit. The line was closed long ago.



External links

* [http://www.kharahais.gov.za/ Khara Hais Municipality]
* [http://africa.cwsurf.de/UpingtonGeneral.htm Additional information about Upington Airport]
* [http://www.owk.co.za The Orange River Wine Cellars Home Page]
* [http://abbott-infotech.co.za/upington-test-page.html South Africa Facts: Upington]

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