GPS: S 29 39.990 E 017 52.987 | pop. 10,000 | elevation 942 m/3,091 ft
Springbok is a quiet former mining town in the heart of Namaqualand, the traditional home of the Nama people, who have lived in sparse settlements in the region for centuries. Just 120 kilometers from the Namibian border, Springbok is a convenient rest stop on your way in or out of the country. But between August and mid-October each year, the city bursts to life with botanical enthusiasts when the barren granite hills transform into a sea of vivid, colorful wildflowers. There is only one main drag, Voortrekker Street, which makes navigating the town pretty simple. If you come for the colors of spring, make sure to book lodging well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Koperberg Tours & Safaris has a number of three to five-day trips available to explore the region, including visits to Kalkfontein, Richtersveld, and Namaqualand. Trips can be customized to suit your interests.
Star Gazing is a new activity for Springbok based out of the Kokerboom Observatory. Stars can be viewed using a Newtonian reflector telescope and some of the brightest stars and sunspots can be observed during the day. Booking is essential. To get there, head south on Voortrekker St for about 2 kilometers out of town. Make a right on Van Riebeeck St and take the first left on Jowell St.
Cat Nap Accommodation has 12 dorm beds available inside of a large garage near the rear of the property as well as a few private en suite rooms. Although the staff gets mixed reviews, it is one of the few budget options in town.
Springbok Caravan Park is located just outside of town on the road to the airport and has campsites that include water and electricity. There is a pool and laundry service available as well. From town, head northeast on Voortrekker St and make a right on R355. The park will be on your left after about 1 kilometer.
Springbok Hotel provides a glimpse into Springbok's historic past. Don't let the colonial façade and creak of the hallway floors fool you though, the double rooms are clean and modern with spacious bathrooms and air conditioning. The single rooms, however, are a little cramped.
Masonic Hotel is located right across the street from the Springbok Hotel and shares the same owner. The simple wood furniture and worn couches in the rooms may not have been renovated recently, but the art deco architecture is worth walking by even if you don't stay there.
Springbok Lodge & Restaurant was originally built in 1929 as the Springbok Private Hotel and Café. The building and restaurant still retain their vintage charm and the hotel has since expanded to cover the entire block and some surrounding houses. You'll know the additional lodge accommodations immediately - they're all painted yellow and white. The hotel has simple, no-frills rooms, but has a decent restaurant and convenience store in the main building.
Annie's Cottage is one of the nicest guesthouses in town with 11 luxurious en suite rooms, each with individual themes ranging from animal print to plum. The newly built honeymoon suite has a spacious bathroom with a clawfoot tub. Relax in the shady garden under a jacaranda tree or take a dip in the pool and spend some time in the sun.
Mountain View Guest House is a pleasant retreat on the outskirts of town at the foot of the mountain range. Room styles range from masculine mahogany to pink floral motifs. If your room doesn't suit your taste, you can always hang out by the pool or in the surprisingly chic lounge.
Titbits Pizza Restaurant is a popular local joint with cheap pizza and an outside patio to enjoy a beer or three. It is located across the street from the Springbok Lodge.
Springbok Lodge & Restaurant is an old fashioned diner with walls covered in newspaper articles, license plates from around the country and photos of the Springbok rugby team dating back to the 1930s. The kitchen offers up burgers, steaks and schnitzel with a few seafood and vegetarian choices. It's a popular spot for weekend breakfasts.
Tauren Steak Ranch has a large selection of, you guessed it, steaks. While it probably won't be the best steak you have ever had in your life, it is big. There is also a good bar towards the back if you're just looking for a watering hole.