Top 10 Things To Do In Upington, South Africa

things to do in upington

Situated in Northern Cape, South Africa, Upington is home to breathtaking landscapes that everyone should witness at least once in their lifetime. It sits on the banks of the Orange River, and it is known as a gateway to the Kalahari Desert. Those heading here can easily visit Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Augrabies Falls National Park, as well. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to go on a wine-tasting tour in Orange River Cellars or learn about Upington’s history in Kalahari-Oranje Museum. With such a diverse list of activities, planning an itinerary could be confusing, especially if you’re short on time. To help you out, we’ve narrowed down a list of activities that you can try. Scroll down for the top things to do in Upington, South Africa.

1. Avail of a day trip at Kalahari Safaris

Kalahari Safaris
Source: Pixabay

Get your money’s worth when you avail of a day trip at Kalahari Safaris. It offers you the opportunity to visit Upington’s national parks, Augrabies Falls National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. You will learn about various wildlife from a guide who will bring you around. You can also choose to camp out for a more authentic outdoor experience.

The abundance of natural beauty in Augrabies Falls National Park is surreal. You will have a hard time choosing what to do first, such as hiking or mountain biking on the trails or going on a picnic. Not to mention, it offers several spots where you can just sit, stare, and marvel at the stunning vistas of the park, the gorge, and the Orange River. Kgalagadi

Transfrontier Park, on the other hand, is a great place to visit if you want to be closer to African wildlife. Here lives the bat-eared fox, black-maned Kalahari lions, cheetahs, leopards, the honey badger, and more.

Kalahari Safaris

Address: Farm Groenkuil, Upington, 8800, South Africa

Website: More information

2. Tour the Kalahari-Oranje Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Kalahari Oranje Museum on Thursday, August 29, 2019

There’s always something interesting about the past of a certain city or town. For instance, did you know that Upington used to be called Olyfenhoudtsdrif? Yes, you read that right. Olyfenhoudtsdrif actually means “olive wood drift,” and Upington was named as such because it used to house large olive trees. There’s more to know and appreciate about this exquisite destination, which is why a tour of the Kalahari-Oranje Museum is a must.

This museum is housed in 19th-century buildings. Inside, you will find old artifacts and household items that tell the story of the area’s history. Just outside the buildings is a statue of a donkey, which symbolizes its major contribution to Lower Orange River Valley’s growth.

Kalahari-Oranje Museum

Address: 4 Short St, Upington, 8801, South Africa

Website: Kalahari-Oranje Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat and Sun)

3. Grab a bite at Ocean Basket Kalahari Mall

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Ocean Basket Upington on Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Are you a seafood lover? If so, grab a bite at Ocean Basket in Kalahari Mall. Aside from their delicious food, you can enjoy a relaxing ambiance. The atmosphere in this well-loved is light and cheerful; you’re guaranteed to have a good time while dining.

Their tasty menu offers starters, salads, and seafood. For starters, have some oysters, firecracker squid, or smoked mussel soup. Other options include seared salmon salad, prawns, fish and chips, kingklip, and calamari cooked in different ways. The restaurant also offers a sushi menu and meals for kids. Whether you are hanging out with family or friends, this is a great place to be.

Ocean Basket Kalahari Mall

Address: Shop No. 53, Entrance 2, Kalahari Mall, Cnr Dr Nelson Mandela Dr & Van Riebeeck St 8801 Upington, South Africa

Website: Ocean Basket Kalahari Mall

Opening hours: 11am - 8:30pm (daily)

4. Try the wine in orange river cellars

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

? Visit our TASTING CENTRE and spoil yourself with YUMMY platters - a canvas of spectacular local cheeses, meat treats and (naturally) a glass of wine. - Mon-Fri: 10:00-17:00 - Saturdays: 10:00-14:00

Posted by Orange River Cellars on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Interested in alcohol? Upington is home to Orange River Cellars. Here, the pristine grapes they ferment are sourced from 850 expert producers. These grapes produce high-quality wines that you can definitely try at their tasting center.

You can pick from a variety of wines, including dry white, dessert, natural sweet, and dry red. This is paired with a delicious platter of local delicacies that will leave you wanting more. The different options for platters include olives, cheeses, and meats. The distinct aroma of the wines here and the charming atmosphere that the venue offers are something that you have to experience for yourself.

Orange River Cellars

Address: Orange River Cellars, Upington, Northern Cape, South Africa

Website: Orange River Cellars

Opening hours: Wine tastings: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm (closed on Sun)

5. Shop at Kalahari Mall

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Have a fabulous and fashionable week with these specials from Queenspark!! #kalaharimall2021

Posted by Kalahari Mall on Monday, June 21, 2021

Upington is a gorgeous and unique destination, offering you an experience like no other with its safaris and outdoor activities. However, it also features modern hot spots. For those who want the urban experience, Kalahari Mall is one of the best shopping spots in the area.

Kalahari Mall houses nearly 60 stores and offers a wide variety of services, leisure options, retail outlets, and eateries. Whether you need to visit the bank, get your hair done, fix a broken phone, or buy new clothes, this mall has everything you need. Plus, it offers free parking.

Kalahari Mall

Address: 25 Van Riebeeck St, Upington, 8801, South Africa

Website: Kalahari Mall

Opening hours: Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 9am - 2pm; Mon - Thu: 9am - 6pm; Fri: 9am - 7pm

6. Join a cruise on Sakkie se Arkie on the Orange River

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Sakkie se Arkie on Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Arguably, one of the most notable attractions of Upington is the Orange River, which is the longest river in South Africa. Since it passes through Upington, the best way to explore this majestic river is by riding on Sakkie se Arkie. The cruise lasts for one and a half hours, giving you enough time to relax and catch a glimpse of various birds. Sakkie se Arkie has a lower deck and upper deck, and up to 50 guests can stay onboard. A fully licensed bar is also available on site, which means you will have access to drinks and snacks.

A river taxi is also available if you prefer short trips on the water. When you are not on the cruise, you can try different water sports or have a hearty riverside lunch.

Sakkie se Arkie

Address: Park street, Upington 8800, Northern Cape, South Africa

Website: Sakkie se Arkie

Price: Kids: 80 ZAR (5.45 USD); Adults: 150 ZAR (10.22 USD)

7. Dine at Desert Wolf Spur Steak Ranch

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Desert Wolf Spur Steak Ranch on Monday, September 26, 2016

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to try out different food. If you’re tired from meeting wildlife or going on different outdoor adventures, rest your feet at Desert Wolf Spur Steak Ranch.

First opened in 1967 in Cape Town, this family-style restaurant serves South Africa’s favorite burgers, ribs, and steaks. Its meals are tasty, nutritious, and affordable, which is why it is well-loved by customers. Plus, it offers various specials and promotions that will make your dining experience more satisfying.

Desert Wolf Spur Steak Ranch

Address: Shop 56, Kalahari Mall Cnr Botha & Riebeeck St, Upington, 8801, South Africa

Website: Desert Wolf Spur Steak Ranch

Opening hours: Sun: 8am - 9pm; Mon - Sat: 8am - 10pm

8. Visit Spitskop Nature Reserve

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Spitskop Nature Reserve, around 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Upington is one of the best places to go to if you want to familiarize yourself with African wildlife. Here, you will find mammals of various sizes, including elands, wildebeests, zebras, springboks, squirrels, and mongooses. There are also reptiles and birds to be discovered here. You can hike along one of their three trails to reach the top of Spitskop Hill, where you will find a telescope that allows you to look at animals and the horizon.

If you want to spend more time outside, you can book a chalet, caravan, or campsite for an overnight stay.

Spitskop Nature Reserve

Address: Spitskop Nature Reserve, Upington, Green Kalahari, Northern Cape, South Africa

9. Stroll around Date Palm Avenue

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Date Palm Avenue is the entrance to Die Eiland, a holiday resort close to the Orange River. A stroll on this refreshing, picturesque road is the perfect activity with friends, family, or your significant other on a sunny day. It has 200 palm trees planted on a stretch of land spanning more than 1,000 meters (3280.8 feet).

Aside from being a gateway to a wonderful resort, it is considered a landmark and a national monument. If you simply want a laid-back experience, head to Date Palm Avenue now.

Date Palm Avenue

Address: Olyvenhouts Drift Settlement, Upington, 8801, South Africa

10. Enjoy wonderful views with Upington Gyrocopter Flights

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Upington is an idyllic destination, and it comes with interesting attractions. If you want to take a look at all the best spots here, why don’t you try checking it out all the way from above? That’s right. You can have a bird’s-eye view of Upington from a gyrocopter. A gyrocopter is a high-tech aircraft that is safe, fun, and efficient. You can book a short flight to witness spectacular views of the Northern Cape like no other.

For an upgraded experience, you can train how to fly or even buy your own gyrocopter so that you can fly around yourself.

Upington Gyrocopter Flights

Address: 233B Diedericks Road, GA Hanger 4, Upington International Airport, Upington, 8801, Republic of South Africa

Website: Upington Gyrocopter Flights

Have a unique trip in Upington

One way to describe Upington is that it is unique and refreshing. It whisks you away from the typical urban environment and gives you a taste of life in the wilderness. You can’t go wrong with any of the destinations or activities listed above, so go with what suits you best. If you have time, visit all the attractions for a fun and fulfilling trip.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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