Kuruman lies on the Ghaap Plateau at the foot of a
low range of hills in the northeast of the
origin of the town�s name is uncertain but
it is generally accepted as being a
variation of the name of an 18th-century San
remote town has been dubbed the the "Oasis of the
Kalahari� because of a geological feature bringing
water to the surface from deep underground. Known as
"The Eye ("Die Oog") or Gasegonyana.
The Eye is an inexhaustible fountain delivering twenty million litres of
crystal clear water daily. White explorers first
discovered this during the Truter Somerville
Expedition of 1801 (Samuel Daniel). The Eye is the
biggest natural fountain in the southern hemisphere.
Europeans to enter this part of Africa at the start
of the 1800s
were mainly missionaries sent to
establish a mission station.
The Scottish missionary
Robert Moffat and his wife Mary arrived
in what would become Kuruman in 1821.
Together with Robert
Robert & Mary Moffat
established the best-known Mission
Station in Africa, often referred to as �the
fountain of Christianity�. The mission station became the best-known
frontier post in Southern Africa and a base for
famous explorers, including David Livingstone
In 1844 David Livingstone married the Moffat's daughter
(also Mary). Between 1852 and 1856 Livingstone explored the
African interior and was the first European to see
the Mosi-oa-Tunya waterfall (which he renamed
Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria).
It was not until 1887 that the official town of Kuruman was laid
out. The original church has been perfectly preserved, as are
many other historic houses.
The town's thriving economy owes its
health to the community�s mining, stock
farming and agricultural activities.
Manganese, iron ore, and tiger�s eye are
found and mined here. The world's richest
blue asbestos deposits were found here, and
the awful legacy of this form of mining
continues to devastate the lives of many.