Koffiefontein is a small town on the Riet River, 55 km’s northwest of Fauresmith, 45 km’s south-east of Jacobsdal and 60 km’s southwest of Petrusburg. It grew from a diamond digging camp and was proclaimed a town in 1892. Municipal status was subsequently acquired. Literally ‘coffee fountain’, the origin of the name is uncertain.
Transport riders used to outspan (unharness) their horses here in the 19th century, and the story goes that their taste for coffee gave the town its name – and its distinctive coffee pot fountain. Other places of interest include:
- An Open Air Museum dedicated to the prisoners of war who were held in the area during World War II.
- San rock art.
- The Diamond Game Farm.
- A bird park and the 9-hole Koffiefontein Golf Club.
- The grave of South African author Etienne le Roux.
- The Burger Monument, the Great Trek Monument and the famous Paardeberg Battlefield near Fauresmith, en route to Jagersfontein.
The Kalkfontein Dam Nature Reserve on the Riet River lies 35 km’s south east of Koffiefontein. The attractive nature reserve lies in amongst a series of koppies and boasts spectacular sunsets. That the land around the dam is too small to support much wildlife gives you an indication of the size of the dam, which supports camping, fishing and picnics. The reserve’s allure of yellowfish, both the small and large mouth varieties that are a rare find in most fishing dams, are a major reason anglers head here, particularly over weekends. Other than yellow fish, anglers also find Orange River mud fish, barbel and carp and the water attracts a series of terns, greater and lesser flamingos.
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