The quiet town of Daniëlskuil in the Northern Cape boasts the first documented case of cigarette smoking in South Africa. Korana and San leaders were in fact quite shocked in June 1823 when traveler George Thomas had the audacity to pass on the traditional peace pipe in favour of tobacco wrapped in paper! On a much sadder note Daniëlskuil was the first town in the area where asbestos related disease was reported in 1942 – a report ignored at that stage.
The discovery of diamonds in Kimberley led to colonization of Griqualand by the English authorities in Cape Town. The Griqua people subsequently became scattered. The town of Daniëlskuil obtained official status in 1892. For the next 80 years it mainly provided support for the farming community. The Dutch Reformed Church first supplied electricity, but in 1949 the function was transferred to the town management.
In actual fact good soil and plenty of water saw to it that man dwelled in the Daniëlskuil area since prehistoric times. Prove of this lies in the hand tools, dating back 800 000 years, found in the Wonderwerk Cave 40km outside Daniëlskuil.
During the 19th century the town was known as a Griqua outpost under the leadership of captain Barend Barends. The London Mission Society was at this stage quite active in the area
Large-scale mining of lime at Daniëlskuil has led to growth and development. The population of Daniëlskuil in fact doubled at a stage when surrounding towns depopulated due to an economic recession. According to tradition the name of the town is derived from a natural pit – “kuil” in Afrikaans – in the dolomite structure. Perpetrators were imprisoned under appalling conditions in the pit, according to the legend. A link was made with the biblical figure of Daniël, who ended up in a pit with lions – hence the name Daniëlskuil.
Situated at the foot of the Kuruman hills (also known as Rooiberg) that is part of the Cape plateau.150km north west of Kimberley, 350mm rain per annumin summer of early autumn (October – April) old winters, warm summers 9 000 residents.
Kgatelopele Municipality (053) 384 0013 Green Kalahari Tourism (054) 337 2826
Temperature & weather conditions
The expected annual rainfall is 350 mm. The summer temperatures are high, reaching 38°C - 42°C. Winter temperatures vary from 6°C at night to an average of 18°C during the day.