The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Ritchie

Dusty streets in Ritchie


Photo © Johan van Zyl

Ritchie is a small town of around 15,000 people. It is located just off the N12 highway, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, about 40 km south of Kimberley.

The town lies on the northern bank of the Riet River. The town serves the local farming industry which is mainly concentrated along the river. The water from the Riet River is fed to nearby areas through an extensive network of irrigation canals.

Ritchie was the first town to be captured by the British in the Anglo-Boer War. This was as a result of the Battle of Modder River. The Battle of Koedoesberg was fought some 15 km west of the town.

Ritchie was originally called "The Rosmead". It is thought that the name was to honour Lord Rosmead. Lord Rosmead’s real name was Hercules Robinson. He was born in 1824 and died in 1987. Robinson arrived in South Africa from Britain with his first task being to negotiate a settlement with the Boer army after the embarrassing defeat of the British in the Battle of Majuba.

Been to Ritchie? What's it like?

The Dutch Reformed Church in Ritchie

Dutch Reformed Church

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 117

On Route - Explore South Africa region by region - 3rd edition - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 2014 - Page: 131

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 316


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