The town Pofadder is situated about 220km west of Upington and 165km east of Springbok. Farming settlements are: Dwagga Soutpan, Vrugbaar, Raap-en-Skraap and Klein Pella. The town is located on the N14 national road from Upington to Springbok and lies 60 km from the Onseepkans border post on the Namibian border, along the R358. Pofadder (Afrikaans for “puff adder”)

The first plots surveyed were sold in 1917. Pofadder has several old buildings, one being the Roman Catholic Church. Built by the mission, it runs a blockmaking enterprise, a chicken farm and a dairy, giving employment to the poor. There are many day walks and, in spring, a wonderworld of plants carpets the veld.

It developed from a station of the Inland Mission founded in 1875, and named after Klaas Pofadder, a Korana chief. The town was laid out in 1917 and a village management board was instituted in 1937. Originally named Theronsville, the name Pofadder was restored in 1936. In spite of its small size it is an important local centre in the region known in South Africa as Bushmanland.

Pofadder is the gateway to the rest of the Northern Cape and tourists can fill up their tanks at one of the three petrol stations in town while shopping at one of the two general stores. Pofadder is particularly known for
its meat, biltong and droëwors.

The little town is well known to geologists and mineralogists because of the many interesting geological deposits found here.

Tourist Information

In spring, thanks to the winter rains, the area is transformed into a colourful carpet of wild flowers. The flower season in the region attracts visitors from all corners of the world. Visitors can also explore the town and its surrounds by hiking or on a mountain bike. If you want to up the ante, quad-biking and 4×4 sand-dune adventures are also available. Water sports fanatics can also enjoy a paddle in the nearby Orange River.

Within Pofadder, you can find high quality accommodation as well as a caravan park. It is the central business district of the Khai-Ma municipal area, providing banking facilities, fuel and a place to restock your supplies

Khai-Ma Municipality tel: (054) 933 1000


The Grave of Captain Klaas Pofadder: The Khoisan Captain after whom Pofadder was named. Dutch Reformed Church: A national monument
Ritchie Falls: on the Pofadder Hiking Trail. The falls can only be reached by foot and is the only place where the Orange River flows from west to east.
Extreme Adventures Hiking Trail: For more information, call tel: 078 785 1487
Dutch Reformed Church: A national monument
Roman Catholic Mission: To visit, call tel: (054) 933 0028

Fauna and Flora

In spring, the Pofadder region becomes the ‘front door’ of Namaqualand’s northern reaches, and the dry lands come alive with the annual splashes of daisies.

A tree aloe that is a typical landscape feature of the Northern Cape is the kokerboom, or quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma). This tree aloe is found growing mainly on the rocky habitat of the hills along the Orange River. In places it occurs in dense “forests”, and good examples of these occur just south of Kenhardt and between Pofadder and Pella.

Pella is situated in close proximity to the Orange River and is connected to the N14 via a tar road. Tourists are however advised to fill up in Pofadder or Aggeneys as there are no petrol stations in Pella.

It has the typical traits of a small town – a quirky name and a remote, middle-of-nowhere location that you’d drive past on your way to somewhere else. But this little town is definitely worth a stop.

Kaxu Solar One

KaXu Solar One, located near the town of Pofadder in the Northern Cape Province, is the first STE plant to operate commercially in South Africa. The plant started operating in early 2015. Atlantica Yield has a 51 % participation.

KaXu Solar One produces enough clean electricity to power 80,000 South African households, while preventing the emission of 300,000 tons of CO2 annually.

It not only provides a clean energy future for South Africa, but also brings economic development to the region.

Key Statistics 2011

Total population 3,287
Young (0-14) 29,9%
Working Age (15-64) 62,2%
Elderly (65+) 7,9%
Dependency ratio 60,8
Sex ratio 89,3
Population density 20 persons/km2
No schooling aged 20+ 2,7%
Higher education aged 20+ 4%
Matric aged 20+ 21,5%
Number of households 895
Average household size 3,5
Female headed households 44,8%
Formal dwellings 86,8%
Housing owned/paying off 74,9%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage 83,4%
Weekly refuse removal 96%
Piped water inside dwelling 46,5%
Electricity for lighting 96,6%