Kathu, also called ‘the town under the trees’, came into being because of Iscor’s iron ore mining activity in the Kalahari. Kathu was established 12 km northeast of Dingleton (then called Sishen) to accommodate workers for a new iron ore mine that opened in 1973. Kathu acquired municipal status in 1980. The 700 hectares camelthorn forest around Kathu is one of the largest in South Africa and is part of a 2 245 hectares nature reserve that is home to several species of game, including camels and a large variety of birds.

Kathu is connected by road, rail and air to nearby city of Kimberley. This modern, model town is strategically situated and is the origin of some of the world’s longest ore trains that travel through harsh territory to offload their precious iron cargo at Saldanha Bay.

Nothing can prevent the visitor being left speechless by the sheer size of one of the world’s largest open-cast iron mines, dwarfing giant ore trucks bearing up to 170 tons of ore each load. Kathu is home to one of the country’s most beautiful golf courses and the luxurious Gamagara Lodge. Limestone houses characterise a desert landscape hidden by graceful palms. A small, well-stocked game reserve adjoins the town as does the Khai-Appel Pleasure Resort.

Kathu forms part of the Kalahari Region and is situated 50km west of Kuruman on the N14 between Johannesburg and Cape Town.


Absailing and 4x4 routes
Tel 083 660 5336

Boiterelo Duallery Centre
Craft shop selling locally made jewellery. Tel 073 285 5433.

Game Reserve
Offering game and birdwatching. Tel 053 723 2263.

Khai-Appel Recreation Resort
Camping and caravan facilities, fishing and horseriding. Tel 053 723 2263.

Kumba Sportclub
Badminton, golf, gymnasium, squash, swimming, tennis. Tel 053 723 3288.

Mine Tour
Guided tours of the world’s largest open-cast iron mine by appointment. Tel 083 660 5336.


Kathu Information Office
Tel 083 660 5336
Tel/Fax 053 723 2391
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