Griqualand West

The small province of Griqualand West lay in the dry semi-desert of the Karoo. Its capital was Kimberley, which was also home to the most famous of South African swimmers - Karen Muir. From 1965 - 1970 Kimberley regularly featured in world swimming news - because Karen kept breaking world records. Legandary coach Frank Gray was recruited by the Department of Sport and Recration to move from Watford in England to Kimberley, where he produced a string of champions, including his four sons who all became Springbok swimmers. 

Few schools had their own pools but many dorpies towns in the province boasted a swimming pool, although few survive in 2020. They included Upington, Vryburg, Kuruman, Postmasburg, Prieska, Mafeking, Hopetown and others. 

In 2020 the province has 8 registered swimming clubs.


The Big Hole of Kimberley - famous for its diamonds. The town has a few notable schools, as well as the Karen Muir Municipal swimming pool.


Located at a ford across the Orange River, it was a haven for runaway slave river pirates until the town was established in 1884.

A railway bridge, the second longest in Southern Africa, was built over the river to carry the railway from the De Aar junction to Windhoek in South West Africa.

Smaller centres

Many platteland dorpies had well run schools with excellent sporting facilities - including swimming pools. Today most of these are gone but there are still a few places where aquatic sports - mostly swimming - is popular.

Colours gala at Hoërskool Hopetown.

Dead pools of the Great Karoo.

Here is a list of some dead swimming pools still visible in (roughly) the Griqualand West. It borders on the Cape in the south and west, that the Orange Free State to the east. Each of those provinces have their own dead pools also.

Hoër Tegniese Skool, Kimberley

Laerskool Staats, Kimberley

SADF Kimberley Military base

SADF 3 SAI Military Base Kimberley

SADF Lohatla 

Kimberley Prison

Jan Kempdorp Municipal pool

HLNK - Jan Kempdorp

Hartswater Hospitaal

Hoërskool Schweizer-Reneke

Schweizer-Reneke Hospital

Vryburg municipal swimming pool

Vryburg municipal swimming pool Skool Straat

Griekwastad Municipal pool

Upington Rudolf de Wee straat

Upington King street

Askham school

Olifantshoek dorp swembad

Strydenburg municipality

Niekerkshoop municipal pool

Prieska municipal pool

Douglas municipal pool