Kalahari Gemsbok Park.

How did this area become a protected park for animals?

It all started with the First World War. In 1914 the Government of the Union of South Africa drilled a series of boreholes in the Auob River. The country now known as Namibia was then South West Africa and occupied by the Germans.

These boreholes were to supply troops moving against SWA with water. It never happened, and this area was surveyed into farms by Roger “Malkop” Duke Jackson. Now for those not familiar with Afrikaans “Malkop” means “mad-head”, if you refer to someone as “mal in die kop” you would be saying “mad in the head”.

Malkop was Scottish and this probably explains the many Gaelic names were given to the boreholes.

After WW1 these farms were given to white people and a little later coloured people.

One such farm house still stands with a little of the history that goes with it…

In 1931 the land was proclaimed a National Park by the Minister of Lands Piet Grobbler and the occupants were given land south of the park on the Kuruman River. The borehole guards and farmers merely abandoned their properties and this one site is now what’s left of an operating farm.

Kalagadi 1417

Kalagadi 1393

Kalagadi 1407

Kalagadi 1409

The sheep and cattle kraal….

Kalagadi 1403

Kalagadi 1395

Kalagadi 1406

Kalagadi 1410

Kalagadi 1408


35 thoughts on “Kalahari Gemsbok Park.

      • As much as I’d like to think that I will see your part of the world, there are many places on our list and the list is much longer than one can see in a lifetime, as I suspect is true of many who love to travel. It is so wonderful to get to see it through your eyes.

  1. Interesting info Bulldog – I wander who first came up with the idea of digging boreholes for water. It must have been a tough job without mechanical means.

    • Oh yes I would not have enjoyed having to do what these tough lot did… can you imagine lighting a fuse and then hoping you get out the hole in time…

    • Thank you Dianne… when we bought our farm many years ago.. the house floor was also cow dung… it shone like a mirror and was as hard as iron…

  2. LOL @ Malkop! Must be part of my family..hahahaha.
    Lovely photo’s as usual bulldog and I truly enjoyed the tour. I love that little stone house. 😀
    Thanks for sharing! *hugs*

  3. What an interesting place. I love all the rock that was used. Just one little farm house left, and it can keep telling the history. The World War I connection is a really interesting tie-in. I love to find places like this that communicate so much history with simple foundations and remnants of old buildings and outposts!

    • I find it fascinating the historical side of our newish country… you probably have buildings older than our history… but ours is very diverse and interesting.. and remains so today with the changes in the last 20 years…

  4. Our history in NZ is quite young but it is all so interesting and we enjoy learning from our ancestors and getting an appreciation of their lives – good to see you have some interesting historic places to visit also and they too have the information boards helping bring the storey to life. Darn it though, you don’t just have stunning wildlife!

    • Yes like NZ SA is also young.. in fact in Europe there are buildings 2 to 3 times older than our history… like you we can trace our forefathers history a lot easier than say America… but I do enjoy the historical side of our new country and discovering odd things I never knew…

  5. great photos and history lesson. Before I read your definition I guessed it meant bad head; mal meaning bad in French and in a variation of spanish and kop or kopf head in German!

    • funny how a lot of these words are similar in so many languages… just makes one wonder who influenced who.. I know Afrikaans is a derivative of High Dutch.. but then in our short history we were also influenced by the French Huguenots… who’s building style is still there foe all to see today… not having an old history.. fairly young actually… the influences are here from all the fore fathers which include.. Dutch, French, English, Scottish and of course our indigenous tribes… quite a mixture actually…

      • Yes it’s funny in the curious sort of way. I understand a lot of dutch because it’s so similar to German, I’ve even been able to under the gist of what is being said in Yiddish!

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