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Trip Planner Africa  /  South Africa  /  Northern Cape  /  Vioolsdrif


Kayaking & Canoeing · Outdoor Activities
Vioolsdrif is a village on the Orange River in the north-western part of South Africa, known as Namaqualand.Origin of nameThe name in Afrikaans means 'the ford of the violin'. It is reportedly named after Jan Viool, who is said to have played the fiddle in these parts in the nineteenth century. Some say he was a Nama man, who used to guide ox-wagons across the ford. An accomplished player, he would fiddle away merrily on the river bank while waiting for wagons to arrive. These claims await elaboration.GeographyA road bridge here on the N7 national road links South Africa with Namibia and the town is the South African border post. At the other end of the bridge is the small Namibian village of Noordoewer (meaning "north bank" in Afrikaans). The area is profoundly arid and the crossing is overlooked by steep and spectacular sandstone cliffs hundreds of metres in height.In general, the surrounding region is almost unpopulated. There are small pockets of fertile alluvial soil along the course of the river and these are used for growing crops, such as dates and melons, under irrigation.
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