Interestingly, the area in which Kenhardt is situated was home to outlaws in the frontier days. In 1868, the Cape Government established a post here under magistrate Maximillian Jackson as well as 50 policemen in order to get to the place the policemen had to fight. These men erected their camp under a beautiful Camelthorn tree and this was the beginning of what would later become the town of Kenhardt. That giant Camelthorn tree can still be viewed today.

Kenhardt became a municipality in 1909. The Kenhardt landscape is arid but also characterised by a luscious green belt fed by the gorgeous Hartbees River and by irrigation water from the Rooiberg Dam. This arid land boasts a fascination of its own, the tedium of brown sand being broken only by black dolerite boulders.

Because of the lack of trees in the area, a large number of weaver birds make use of the telegraph poles along the road to build their community nests. Their large nests or “bird apartments” can easily house over 150 birds and can be lived in for more than a century. One can easily spot them along the way.

The fantastic wide-open spaces of Verneukpan are an ideal hotspot for parasailing enthusiasts. Verneukpan was made famous in 1929 when Sir Malcolm Campbell unsuccessfully attempted to break the world land-speed record in his Bluebird 1. For those who prefer an archaeological adventure, there are San trails which will lead you over several hills, in the footsteps of the San, to spots which the San chose as canvases for their art. One can see what they saw and experience what they did.


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