Pofadder is a small town situated in the Northern Cape of South Africa. While pofadder means, as you would expect, puff adder (a type of snake) this town was named not for a scaly reptile but after a certain Korana chief, Klaas Pofadder, who lived on Kanoneiland and died in the area when he was gunned down by local farmers. In 1918 the name was officially changed to Theronsville, but the original name stuck and was eventually re-employed. Each year, in August, Pofadder makes an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area which is covered with a carpet of Namaqualand daisies following the rains. Pofadder has several old buildings, including a Roman Catholic Church which was built by the mission. Today it runs a block making enterprise, chicken farm and a dairy, which offers employment to the local communities.
In much the same way as we refer to places off the beaten track as being in Timbuctoo, South Africans often use the name of Pofadder to similar effect to refer to any far-flung small town backwater. The very little town of Pofadder lies surrounded by rugged, sparsely populated and very scenic countryside. Here locals make their money from sheep or goats farming, and there seems little more to entice you to visit the town than its position on the main route from Upington to Springbok, just 60 kilometres from the Namibian border post.
Surrounding towns have equally sleepy backwater sounding names, like Aggeneys, Kakamas and Pella but there is something about this parched countryside that is appealing and, certainly in spring, the blanket of incredible flowers that brighten this part of the world makes a visit here worth the drive. Pofadder is, in fact a great place to overnight and the wee town provides a more than welcome break from endlessly straight roads through the Kalahari plains.
Pofadder has quite a history too. It might be little more than a couple of tar roads, a café, church and hotel, but there was quite a resistance mounted by the original Koranna people (offshoots of the Khoi-Khoi) who made this part of the country their home back when a mission station was set up here in 1875. A few fresh water springs, called the Koranna springs, were what attracted these people here originally, and a town soon followed in 1918, officially called Theronsville. Pofadder, however, stuck, and the official name soon followed suit and reverted.
In August this is a great little base from which to explore the Namaqualand daisies, and there is a hiking trail, called the Pofadder hiking trail, in the vicinity.
For the adventurous Two guided trails of 25 km, wind around the dunes, mainly traversing the spines and offering panoramic views over the plains for either 4x4 Vehicles or Quads. During the winter rain season these plains are covered in colourful Namaqualand flowers. Duration of the route varies between 2 - 5 hours, depending on the number of vehicles. Single as well as group bookings are welcome with a maximum of 12 vehicles. A lovely 4x4 experience in the Bushmanland for all sand lovers between rich, red dunes interspersed with rocky outcrops rising above a sea of grassy plains. Camping site available with hot shower, running toilet, braai facilities and shaded camping areas. The route caters for drivers of various levels of experience with interesting technical challenges.