Kuruman.. A town in the Kalahari.

Kuruman is a town with 12 000 odd inhabitants in Northern Cape province of South Africa, famous for the Eye of Kuruman, a geological feature bringing water from deep underground to the surface in the Kalahari Desert.

The Eye is the largest known natural spring in the southern hemisphere. Who says arid areas have no water.??

Kuruman is vastly known as the ‘the fountain of Christianity’ in Africa due to the flowing springs of the ‘Die Oog’ and its missionary history of the ‘Moffatt Mission’.

Kuruman is also known for the Moffat Mission where Robert Moffat, a Scottish missionary, was the first person to translate and print the entire Bible into the Setswana African language.

Robert Moffatt helped build the Moffatt Church which was completed in 1838. Kuruman was a London Missionary Society mission station founded by Robert Moffat in 1821 and the place where David Livingstone arrived for his first position as a missionary in 1841.

Now David Livingstone I’m sure you all know for his meeting with H. M. Stanley on 10 November 1871 which gave rise to the popular quotation "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" He was also reputed to be the first White discoverer to see the world famous Victoria Falls.. Now my knowledge of local history has been awakened as I never knew he started his career of expeditions from Kuruman..

But this photographic post is about the famous Eye of Kuruman… I will let the first photo speak further for me..


Now when they say this water is crystal clear the following photos will convince you of that fact…






and all this water bubbles out of this “EYE”…


The Kuruman River (which is dry except for flash floods after heavy rain), is named after the town. But with all this water bubbling out of the ground.. 20 000 000 litres per day (4 500 000 gallons per day) why would the river be a dry river.?? Ummm interesting, will have to study up a bit more on this… Okay the water is used to supply 71 000 people in the area.. lucky people, such crystal clear water, I wonder now if they need to purify it.???

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

Boesmansgat.. or Bushman’s Hole..

This hole is believed to be the third-deepest submerged freshwater cave (or sinkhole) in the world, approximately 270 meters (886 feet) deep. It is located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

Boesmansgat was believed to be first explored by amateur diver Mike Rathbourne in 1977.

On November 24, 2004, Verna van Schaik set the existing Guinness Woman’s World Record for the deepest dive with a dive to 221 meters (725ft). What some people won’t do for fun.

Of course as per all dangerous sports, the sport of cave diving has it’s toll and here is the roll of honour..

Eben Leyden died in 1993 after blacking out at 200 feet.

In 1994, while helping a team prepare for a dive, Deon Dreyer died.

On January 8, 2005, famed deep cave diver Dave Shaw died while recovering Dreyer’s remains from a depth of over 800 feet (about 245 meters). Shaw, using a re-breather apparatus and suffering from nitrogen narcosis while attempting to place the remains in a body bag, became entangled in his own lines and blacked out. Later, as the recovery team was removing equipment, both bodies floated to the surface, apparently pulled to a depth where the gasses in Shaw’s body expanded and gave it buoyancy.

HomepageSlideshow_RaisingtheDead_021212courtesy of Outside Magazine with their article of “Raising the Dead” click to read the article.

Facts I found while researching these deaths, it takes them only 15 odd minutes to get down to these vast depths, but apparently up to 13 hours to ascend, due to the fear of the bends. Madness if you ask me..





But how did this hole in the middle of the Kalahari develop? Who knows, was it an air bubble that came to the surface when the area was volcanically forming? Was it a lime stone deposit or pipe that has eroded with time? An area of cracking in the surface?



The hole is located on a farm, no sign posts to it, or advertising, but word of mouth has you exploring and asking the farmers permission to go to it. A slight rise in an otherwise flat terrain brings you to the site.. a deep hole, approx. 20 metres down and a precarious descent, one can spy the water surface, a green slush. But all divers reports are of a beautiful crystal clear water below the surface.

The rock formations are fascinating and here are but a few of those I took..







Wonderwerk Cave.. or Miracle Cave

I have not got the time to write out a long splurge of this site we discovered in our trip around the Northern Cape, but if you are ever between Danielskuil and Kuruman, do yourself a favour and visit the cave..

Thanks to Wikipedia..

Wonderwerk Cave is an archaeological site, formed originally as an ancient solution cavity in Dolomite rocks of the Kuruman Hills, situated between Danielskuil and Kuruman in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa. It is a National Heritage Site within a servitude ceded to and managed as a satellite of the McGregor Museum in Kimberley. Geologically, hillside erosion exposed the northern end of the cavity, which extends horizontally for about 140 m into the base of a hill. Accumulated deposits inside the cave, up to 7 m in depth, reflect natural sedimentation processes such as water and wind deposition as well as the activities of animals, birds and human ancestors over a period of some 2 million years. The site has been studied and excavated by archaeologists since the 1940s and research here generates important insights into human history in the subcontinent of Southern Africa. Evidence within Wonderwerk cave has been called the oldest controlled fire. Wonderwerk means “miracle” in the Afrikaans language.

Thanks to the Bulldog for the photos…

From the outside….


Just on the inside….


and this great big stalagmite…


the Bushman paintings are fascinating and even show an elephant.. so they must have roamed here in the past…



and now we go and have a look at some of the dig sites all they way down to the back of the cave…






A Little Dressage.. while selling terratry

Whilst on the road, I got the chance to see a little dressage. Our SA Champion was there and made it look easy… even did a little jumping specially for me to get photos…


She was beautiful.. and the horse wasn’t too bad either..


and now for the Champion…



and a little jumping for the camera…