Oldest Town in North-Eastern Cape
Burgersdorp lies just south of, and halfway between, Aliwal North and Venterstad. This Merino sheep farming town does not lie on an obvious route, but is a worthy stop if you have a lot of time on your hands or are interested in historical sites as this little village has made it onto the list of most popular small towns in the Eastern Cape.
Burgersdorp is beautiful town, well looked after by its residents and full of museums, national monuments and historical sites. The town is considered the cultural heart of the northern reaches of the province and has been a pivotal point in Afrikaner history, culture and religion. It is home to the first Afrikaans Language Museum in the country, financed by the British and opened in 1893. Congresses of the Afrikanerbond were held in town and in 1882, after 25 years of demanding that their language be recognised, they achieved this aim. To commemorate their victory, a Taalmonument (language monument) was erected.
The town is blanketed in history and the Museum Complex alone has four buildings worth visiting, but it’s not just its history that makes the town attractive. Surrounded by the Stormberg mountains, hikers will find the area a perfect spot to explore fossils and San Rock Art – there is also a two kilometer trail that maps out the route past all the historical sites in Burgersdorp!
Burgersdorp might be one of the smaller towns in this province, but it has so much to offer. It is close to Aliwal North if you are planning a longer stay and wish to visit the Hot Springs or play a bit of golf.
Burgersdorp has plenty of places to stay, Guest houses, B&B’s and self-catering, all typically in Karoo style houses.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Dutch Reformed Church
- Brandwag Anglo-Boer Block House
- Afrikaans Language Museum & Monument
- Burgersdorp Old Jail
- Burgersdorp Museum Complex
- Hiking Trails
- Historical Trails
- Jubilee Fountain
- Aliwal North Museum
- Aliwal North Public Library
- Aliwal North Hot Springs
- Aliwal North Golf Course
Burgersdorp receives approximately 367 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during the Summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 16˚C.
Burgersdorp is the oldest town in the north-eastern Cape, founded on the farm Klipfontein in 1846.
The inhabitants became the envy of other Karoo towns because they enjoyed a somewhat milder climate as they were sheltered in a valley below the Stormberg Mountains. They also had access to their own water from the Stormberg Spruit.
Many towns in South Africa are named after one person, but Burgersdorp was aptly named after many people, all its inhabitants, in fact. “Town of citizens” is what Burgersdorp means, and that is exactly how it was started, on the initiative of 300 Afrikaner families.
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