8km north of springbokDerived from the Nama word ‘U-gieb’, meaning ‘the great, brackish spring’, Okiep was, until production ceased in 1918, the world’s richest copper mine. Okiep echoes the copper boom years, being the oldest mining town in South Africa where copper was first discovered and mined in 1855. Fort Shelton, on the road between Okiep and Concordia, was the main fortification of the Home Guard during the siege of Okiep from 1 April to 23 May 1902. Nine-hundred defenders, mostly Cape Copper Company employees, built nine blockhouses and repulsed General Jan Smuts’s forces’ concerted efforts to take the town. Today only the remnants of stone walls remain.
ATTRACTIONAnglo-Boer War The remains of the Crows Nest Blockhouse, on a hill
north east of Okiep, fell to the Boers and was occupied by them for most of the siege before being retaken. Fort Shelton saw the major part of the action during the siege and was manned by a 6 pounder gun. Graffiti, made by the Cape
Town Highlanders and Cape Garrison Artillery, can be seen in the Okiep East Mine, and casualties from the war were laid to rest in the Okiep graveyard. Cornish Pump House A fully intact steam engine and the only remaining pump house of its sort in the Southern Hemisphere, were used from 1882 to pump water from the mine. Donkey Cart Rides Fort Shelton Between Okiep and Concordia. The main fortification of the Home Guard during the Siege of Okiep in 1902. Geological Sites Klondike and Magabreccia sites can be seen in the surrounding
area. Smokestack Built by the Cape Copper Company as a ventilation shaft in 1880, now a national monument.