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Launch of the Go Ghaap! Route:
30 October 2018
Red Sands Game Lodge


The new Go Ghaap! Tourism Route was launched on 30 October 2018, at the Red Sands Guest Farm, just west of Kuruman.

It took the form of a Heritage Conference, with fascinating speakers.  The Launch was therefore an opportunity to showcase all these amazing heritage resources.  A total of 160 people attended, and there was a great deal of music, crafts and social networking.



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Karoo Development Foundation - Ghaap Lau

With thanks to our Sponsors!

  • National Lotteries Commission

  • National Research Foundation

  • Red Sands Country Lodge


Some of our speakers:

Ms Jean Wilson

​Executive Manager at the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism

Jean emphasised the importance of the Go Ghaap! Route for the tourism development of the Northern Cape, and pledged the support of her Department for the Route.

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Jean Wilson Dept Econ Dev for
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Mr Gopolang Nels

Director, Local Economic Development,

Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality


On behalf of Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality,  Gopolang pledged his support for the Go Ghaap! Route.

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 Ponani Mthembi

Council for Geosciences


Ponani described the ancient Kaapvaal Craton – a continent which existed 3 billion years ago. The Ghaap Plateau formed the western edge of the Craton. Click here for Ponani's presentation (1 MB).

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These young archaeologists explored the amazing stone age tools deposits at Kathu. This stone age site (right across the road from the Heritage Mall) developed between 10 000 and 150 000 years ago. They also showed how fascinating it is to be an archaeologist!


Dr Jayne Wilkins and post-grad student Khumo Matlhoko


Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town



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Click here for Jayne and Khumo's presentation (1 MB).

Lloyd Rossouw and Myra Gohodzi

National Museum, Bloemfontein


The  “Wonder of the Wonderwerk Cave” – including the first recorded human use of fire!


Click here for their presentation (2 MB).

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Siegwalt Küsel

Habitat Landscape Architects

Siegwalt spoke about the ancient sibilo mine at Tsantsabane (Postmasburg). This has been an important trading item for hundreds of years, amongst the San, Tswana and Griqua. It also features prominently in the writings of early white explorers. Siegwalt's presentation is available here (2 MB).


Shiny sibilo

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The ancient mine at Tsantsabane, Postmasburg

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Dr David Morris

MacGregor Museum, Kimberley


David shared his vast knowledge of traditional rock art in the Ghaap region. This include engravings and paintings. In many cases, the meaning of these decorations remains obscure and intriguing.

Click here for David's presentation (4 MB).

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The eerie ruins of the ancient Thlaping capital of Dithakong.

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Ms Sunet Swanepoel

MacGregor Museum


Sunet explored the famous 1823 Battle of Dithakong (north-west of Kuruman), where a combined Griqua and Tswana force defeated an onslaught by displaced Sotho groups (Bafokeng, MaPhuting and Hlakoana).

Download Sunet's presentation here.

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William Burchell's painting of Dithakong, 1801

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Dr Bart de Graaff

Researcher, Netherlands

Bart spoke about passionately about Griqua history and personalities. Bart has already published a book, Ware Mense, about the modern Griqua.

Bart's book, Ware Mense, can be purchased here.

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 Mr Gert Theart

Historian, Hotazel

Gert described the colourful history of the Ghaap during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).  This included the Boer attack on British-held Kuruman in December 1899, and the British recapture of Kuruman in June 1900.

The defenders of Kuruman, December 1899

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Ms Helene Smuts

Africa Meets Africa, NGO


Helene described the importance of heritage in education. Involving school teachers and learners will be a critical facet of making heritage “real” to the local communities.

Her presentation was based on the work of her NGO, Africa Meets Africa.

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Lindile Fikizolo of the KDF then introduced the ...


The Go Ghaap Crafters Catalogue can be found here.

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Doreen Atkinson (KDF) described the next challenges of the Go Ghaap! Route.


It is important to build a network of supporters and activists in the region, and keep activities going for several years. The Route will take years to build up.


Donors such as Lotto and the Northern Cape Department of Tourism will be important to facilitate future work, such as the development of tourist sites and materials.

Reception - Amanda Kirsten and Caroline.
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There was a vigorous audience discussion about the Way Forward.


Participants felt that KDF should continue to drive the Route until a suitable regional organisation is created. The route is apolitical, but municipal and provincial buy-in is critical, to improve local sits and signage. The involvement of traditional leaders should be handled with great sensitivity.

Ms Sharon Lewis of the Northern Cape Tourism Agency pledged the support of the Province.

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Music provided by the talented Opera Tenors of Danielskuil, and the Forever Young Marimba Band. Thank you for sharing your talents and energy!

See our Go Ghaap Launch You-tube Clip!

With thanks to Fatima Abdool, Angelo Doyle and Cameron Plaatjies!

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Please contact Doreen Atkinson if you would like to participate or contribute!

Together, we can build the Ghaap Region!

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