Travel guide to Springbok, Namaqualand
The town of Springbok is the "Capital of Namakwaland". Flanked by the granite hills of the Klein Koperberg Mountains, it owes its existence to the opening of South Africa's first commercial copper mine in the 1850's. Today the mining activities have moved elsewhere, but because of the Springbok's constant supply of water (provided by the local fountain), it remains the administrative and commercial centre of the area. Mining related attractions include two national monuments. These are one of the original mine shafts sunk by Simon van der Stel when he came prospecting in 1685 and the Cornish Smelting Ovens built in 1866. Tourists might also visit the deserted Blue Mine, the beautiful stone-hewn Dutch Reformed Church built in 1921 and the old Jewish Synagogue that now serves as a museum. Those who have travelled to Namakwaland for its unique and astounding flora, can visit the nearby Goegap Nature Reserve, known for its wildflowers as well as its succulents.