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For you to explore ...

Where to get stuff ...

To explore this vast and fascinating area, you can dip into many interesting sources!

Herewith some pointers to prepare for your travels in the Kalahari ...

Recent books can be purchased at,, or

Out-of-print books may be available from, or

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General books on the area

Alf Wannenburgh, Forgotten Frontiersmen (1980). This book is rather scarce, but you may find a copy on or It is a wonderful introduction to the "wild west" of the Ghaap Region! A really fun read.

Martin Legassick, The politics of a South African frontier: the Griqua, the Sotho-Tswana and the missionaries, 1780 – 1840. Basel: Basler Afrika Bibliographien, 2010. One of the most authoritative historical studies of the Ghaap region.

Nigel Penn, The Forgotten Frontier: Colonist and Khoisan on the Cape's Northern Frontier in the 18th Century, Ohio University Press, 2006. A highly readable history!

Nigel Penn, Rogues, Rebels and Runaways: Eighteenth-century Cape Characters, David Philip, 1999.

On the Ghaap's 3-billion-year geological history:  Terence McCarthy & Bruce Rubidge, The story of earth and life:  A southern African. perspective on a 4.6-billion-year journey. Cape Town: Struik, 2005.

Peter Mitchell, The archaeology of southern Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

David Morris, Rock art in the Northern Cape: the implications of variability in engravings and paintings relative to issues of social context and change in the precolonial past, PhD thesis, University of the Western Cape, 2012. Available here.

Nick Norman and Gavin Whitfield, Geological Journeys, Struik, Cape Town, 2006.

Kevin Shillington, Luka Jantjie: Resistance Hero of the South African frontier, Wits University Press, 2001.  A riveting account of Tswana history in the Ghaap area.  Purchase it here:

PHR Snyman, Olifantshoek: Oase van die Langberg. Raad vir Geesteswetenskaplike Navorsing, Pretoria, 1986. Snyman's books are meticulously researched and covers numerous dimensions of local histories.


Snyman, PHR. 1922. Kuruman – Vervloë pad na Afrika, Raad vir Geesteswetenskaplike Navorsing, Pretoria.

Snyman, P.H.R. 1988. Danielskuil: van Griekwabuitepos tot Dienssentrum, 1988.

Antony Hocking, Kaia and Cocopan: The Story of mining in South Africa's Northern Cape. Hollard, Johannesburg, 1983.

Hetta Hager, Van Karrikamma tot Griekwastad, NG Church Council of Griquatown, 1961.

Explorers in the Ghaap


GA Farini, Through the Kalahari Desert: A Narrative of a Journey with a Gun, Camera, and Note-Book to Lake Ngami and Back, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, London, 1886.

John Campbell,  Travels in South Africa. Volume I and II, 1822.  London: Francis Westley. Facsimile reprint 2004.

Henry Lichtenstein, Travels in southern Africa. London: British and Foreign Public Library, 1815.

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