Cradock Excursions - Oukop Hill


About Cradock Excursions - Oukop Hill

Cradock Excursions - Oukop Hill

For a panoramic view of the whole of Cradock take a drive up Oukop.  Do not forget to take your camera with you.

From Oukop you have a superb view over the Great Fish River and Cradock.  About 20 meters from the road around the summit of the hill you can see various etchings in the ironstone, carved by British soldiers during the Anglo-Boer War.

A leisurely trip there, a stroll around the hill enjoying the panoramic views and stopping to view the etchings will take about an hour and a half.

The beacon on the summit is only about 3 km from the Town Hall.

(The property belongs to the Cradock Municipality, is open to the public 24 hours a day every day of the year and entry is free of any charge or permit.)

Go for a walk around it’s slopes and see the Anglo-Boer war soldiers' etchings on a rock. This hill was used as a lookout post during the Anglo-Boer war and some of the troops killed time by carving these etchings.

Once on the summit continue along the access road, ignoring the turnoff to the left which you see shortly after the road levels out.  About 100 meters after passing the turnoff to the left, the road makes a slight s-bend.  From here descend the koppie in the direction of the corrugated iron workshop below, marked "Cradock Motors" in large blue letters on the roof.

About 20 meters down, you will find an expanse of rock with its southern edge forming a vertical drop of some 3 meters.  If you stand on the top of this krans and look about 10 meters to your left (i.e. in an easterly direction) you should clearly see the best known of the soldiers’ etchings in the Cradock district, on the western face of a 3m high plinth of ironstone.  The words read "What avail a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul".

If you do not immediately see the etching you can walk along the top of the kranz until you come across it.  The natural plinth is situated only about 2 meters south of the vertical drop.  Another 20 meters to the west of this one  you will find another biblical etching ("For God so loved the world"-John3/16).  This second one can easily be seen (also about 2 meters south of the vertical drop) while standing at the well-known plinth.

If you have enough time on your hands you can scout around the entire southern edge of "Oukop" and you will find other etchings (initials and name of soldiers) along the level just below the vertical drop.

Oukop is also a great place to break a long journey by having a picnic not to mention being the perfect spot for sundowners.

You are unlikely to see any animal larger than a rock rabbit (dassie) in the fenced-off area around Oukop but various raptors have sometimes been seen from there.

There are some xerophytic plants which should be of interest to the botanically minded.

Directions to Cradock Excursions - Oukop Hill

GPS :  32° 9' 37.66" S  /  25° 36' 27.92" E

To get there take the road to Middelburg and 1 km after passing over the Great Fish River, turn off to the right onto the road leading to the new jail. About 100m after the turnoff, turn to the right onto the dirt road, go through a gate (usually left open) and follow the road up to the summit of Oukop.

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