Kanoneiland is the largest island in the Orange River and the largest inhabited island in South Africa with a length of 14km and 3km at it widest, covering an area of 2553 hectares. It’s name originated in 1878 when it was a stronghold of the Koranna tribe led by Klaas Pofadder. During the second northern frontier war, the Korannas were driven back to Kanoneiland and was bombarded by the Cape Artillery Corps with cannon fire. The story goes that Klaas Pofadder, not to be outdone, fashioned a homemade cannon out of the trunk of a large quiver tree, loaded it with gunpowder and pieces of stones and scrap and fired it across the stream. When the smoke cleared, 6 of the Korannas were killed by their own gun. The cannon used by the Cape Field Artillery can still be seen in front of the old school building.
In 1928 a group of 52 private settlers began to clear Kanoneiland for cultivation. The settlers originally used a raft to cross the stream to the mainland. Later the raft was replaced by a boat and still later by a regular ferry service. In 1940 a bridge was build over the southern stream and another over the northern stream in 1954. The old boat has been mounted on pillars in the local school grounds. Today 1374 hectares of land is intensively cultivated, with virtually every inch of soil under irrigation.