Upington

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For the village in Shropshire, see Uppington.
Upington
Aerial view of Upington's Central Business District
Aerial view of Upington's Central Business District
Upington is located in South Africa
Upington
Upington
 Upington shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 28°24′S 21°16′E / 28.400°S 21.267°E / -28.400; 21.267Coordinates: 28°24′S 21°16′E / 28.400°S 21.267°E / -28.400; 21.267
Country South Africa
Province Northern Cape
District ZF Mgcawu
Municipality Khara Hais
Established 1873[1]
Government
 • Type Local Municipality
 • Mayor Limakatso Koloi[2] (ANC)
Area[3]
 • Total 580.8 km2 (224.2 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 74,834
 • Density 130/km2 (330/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[3]
 • Black African 25.6%
 • Coloured 62.6%
 • Indian/Asian 0.6%
 • White 10.1%
 • Other 1.1%
First languages (2011)[3]
 • Afrikaans 85.5%
 • Xhosa 6.1%
 • Tswana 3.2%
 • English 2.1%
 • Other 3.1%
Postal code (street) 8800
PO box 8800
Area code +27 (0)54
Website www.kharahais.gov.za
www.greenkalahari.co.za

Upington is a town founded in 1884 and located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, on the banks of the Orange River. The town was named after Sir Thomas Upington, Attorney-General and then Prime Minister of the Cape. It originated as a mission station established in 1875 and run by Reverend Schröder. The mission station now houses the town museum, known as the Kalahari Orange Museum. The museum is also the home of a donkey statue, which recognises the enormous contribution that this animal made to the development of the region during the pioneering days of the 19th century.

The elevation of Upington is 2742 feet (835 metres). It is the closest large centre to the Augrabies Falls, arguably the greatest of South African waterfalls. The landscape is very arid but the soil is fertile and crops such as fruit are grown in irrigated fields. The area is best known for its export-quality grapes, raisins and wines, which are cultivated on the rich flood plains of the Orange river.

Wine Industry[edit]

Upington's most famous wines are produced by an organisation generally known as Orange River Wine Cellars (OWC). The organisation has six depots in the area (all of them on the banks of the Orange River) at Upington, Kanoneiland, Grootdrink, Kakamas, Keimoes and Groblershoop. The wines from OWC are exported, inter alia, to Europe and the USA.

Notable natives and residents[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Passenger train in Upington station

Upington has a modern airport with scheduled flights provided by SA Airlink (an affiliate of South African Airways).[4] The airport's runway, spanning 4900m,[5] is one of the longest in the world and the longest in Africa. Until the 1960s, the airport was also the site of the annual gliding world championships[citation needed].

In the first half of the 20th century there was a passenger train service from Cape Town to Upington. Until the 1950s a narrow-gauge railway line (two-foot gauge) ran from Upington to Kakamas and Keimoes, two nearby towns. The trains carried passengers and freight, being mainly dried fruit. The line to Kakamas was still in use during the November 2010 grape harvest season.[6]

Geography and climate[edit]

Upington
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
24
 
36
20
 
 
35
 
34
20
 
 
37
 
32
18
 
 
26
 
28
13
 
 
10
 
24
8
 
 
4
 
21
5
 
 
2
 
21
4
 
 
4
 
23
6
 
 
4
 
27
9
 
 
9
 
30
13
 
 
17
 
33
16
 
 
17
 
35
19
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: SAWS[7]

Upington is located on the northern banks of the Orange River and is surrounded by irrigated vineyards.[8] The hottest month of the year is January, with average daily temperatures swinging from 36 °C (97 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F), while in the coolest month of July temperatures range between 21 °C (70 °F) and 4 °C (39 °F).[7] Also the dryest month of the year, July sees an average rainfall of only 2 millimetres (0.079 in), while the wettest month of March sees 37 millimetres (1.5 in). Upington has been noted as being the sunniest location on the planet for three months of the year, from November through January. [9]

Climate data for Upington (1961−1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 42.3
(108.1)
42.3
(108.1)
40.7
(105.3)
38.1
(100.6)
33.7
(92.7)
29.3
(84.7)
28.8
(83.8)
33.1
(91.6)
39.3
(102.7)
40.1
(104.2)
41.3
(106.3)
43.0
(109.4)
43.0
(109.4)
Average high °C (°F) 35.5
(95.9)
34.4
(93.9)
32.1
(89.8)
27.8
(82)
24.0
(75.2)
20.5
(68.9)
20.8
(69.4)
22.9
(73.2)
26.8
(80.2)
29.6
(85.3)
32.7
(90.9)
34.7
(94.5)
28.5
(83.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 27.8
(82)
26.9
(80.4)
24.7
(76.5)
20.2
(68.4)
15.7
(60.3)
12.1
(53.8)
11.9
(53.4)
14.0
(57.2)
18.1
(64.6)
21.4
(70.5)
24.7
(76.5)
26.9
(80.4)
20.4
(68.7)
Average low °C (°F) 19.8
(67.6)
19.5
(67.1)
17.8
(64)
13.3
(55.9)
8.3
(46.9)
4.8
(40.6)
4.1
(39.4)
5.6
(42.1)
9.4
(48.9)
12.9
(55.2)
16.3
(61.3)
18.6
(65.5)
12.5
(54.5)
Record low °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
8.6
(47.5)
5.0
(41)
1.7
(35.1)
−2.2
(28)
−5.2
(22.6)
−5.7
(21.7)
−5.3
(22.5)
−1.9
(28.6)
1.8
(35.2)
5.4
(41.7)
8.9
(48)
−5.7
(21.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 24
(0.94)
35
(1.38)
37
(1.46)
26
(1.02)
10
(0.39)
4
(0.16)
2
(0.08)
4
(0.16)
4
(0.16)
9
(0.35)
17
(0.67)
17
(0.67)
189
(7.44)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 3 4 4 3 1 1 0 1 1 2 2 2 24
 % humidity 33 39 44 49 49 50 45 39 35 33 31 30 40
Mean monthly sunshine hours 352.9 298.7 297.5 283.5 290.5 270.3 289.8 307.3 300.2 328.9 345.2 367.0 3,731.8
Source #1: NOAA[10]
Source #2: South African Weather Service[7]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Vastrap, South Africa's former nuclear weapons test range.

Sister city

References[edit]

  1. ^ Upington
  2. ^ Khara Hais website
  3. ^ a b c d Sum of the Main Places Upington and Paballelo from Census 2011.
  4. ^ South African Airways
  5. ^ "Upington". World Aero Data. Avigation Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  6. ^ http://www.railwaysafrica.com/blog/2011/01/flood-at-upington/
  7. ^ a b c "Climate data for Upington". South African Weather Service. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Pinchuck, Tony; Barbara McCrea; Donald Reid (July 2002). Rough guide to South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland. Rough Guides. pp. 319, 322. ISBN 978-1-85828-853-6. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Osborn, Liz. "Sunniest Places and Countries in the World". Current Results. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Upington Climate Normals 1961−1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 

External links[edit]