Victoria West lies on the main route between Kimberley and Cape Town and, like Kimberley, was once inundated by hopeful diamond hunters. Having survived the diamond rush, a devastating flood and a severe drought, the town stands about 60 km north of the “Three Sisters”, a rock formation consisting of three very similar rounded hillocks. The town was established in 1843 and was named after Queen Victoria.
Adventure and Sport
Hunting: Contact the Northern Cape Hunters’ Association for more information.
Fauna and Flora
Victoria West Nature Reserve: View a variety of game species and if you are lucky, you may also see the rare riverine rabbit.
History and Architecture
Anglican Church: The church building dates from 1943 and has two particularly beautiful stained-glass windows.
Apollo Theatre: The theatre is an excellent example of a tourism jewel that is sometimes found in the most unlikely places. The cineam in the art deco style of the 1950s preserves the grandeur and excitement of the time when film heroes saved damsels in distress without creasing their dinner jackets. The theatre has been declared a heritage site and regularly hosts film festivals.
Print Shop: The shop where the local paper, the Victoria West Messenger, was first printed in 1876, has changed little with the passage of time.
Victoria Trading Post and Mannetjies Roux Museum: South African rugby enthusiasts will be excited by the memorabilia from the life of former Springbok rugby player Mannetjies Roux. Roux is famous in South African rugby history and his name has even been immortalised in song.
Victoria West Museum: The BJ Kempen Hall exhibits fossilised remains of fish that prove that the dry Karoo was once, more than 200 million years ago, an inland sea. Other animal fossils are also displayed. The Nama-Karoo Biome exhibit focuses on the 1 000 plant species, characteristic animal species and landscape of the Karoo.
The Dutch Reformed Church bought a section of the farm Zeekoegat in 1843 and the church building was consecrated in 1855. The Cultural History Hall of the museum has displays on the role of the church, the opening of the first bank, the history of sport in the area, the Victoria West Messenger newspaper and Early Stone Age artefacts.
Three Sisters: The Three Sisters are a well-known landmark in South Africa and travellers on the Kimberley-Cape Town route use them as a reference point. The hillocks are rounded and flat-topped, with a strong “family resemblance”.