Lattakoo Estate Kathu
Lattakoo Estate Kathu is a town in South Africa and the iron ore capital of the Northern Cape
province. Its name means "town under the trees", after the Camel Thorn forest it is situated in. The phrase "the town under the trees" was coined by an engineer working in the town in the early 1990 as part of a tourism marketing drive, together with the accompanying graphic. It was intended to be a marketing slogan. The meaning of the word "Kathu" has anecdotally been attributed to a porridge brewed by the local population from the powder found in the pods of the Camel
Thorn trees. Kathu was founded in the late 60's early 70's. Kathu is perfectly in between Upington and Vryburg with about a 2-hour drive to each. Kimberley is a 3-hour drive away. Camel thorn tree forest The Camel Thorn tree Acacia Erioloba forest is one of only two in the world with the other being between Mariental and Rehoboth in Namibia
. Its uniqueness was recognized in the early 1920s when it was declared a State Forest. In 1995, it was registered as a Natural Heritage
Site. The Kathu forest is approximately 4000 hectares in size and these Camel thorns trees provide support for large Sociable Weaver’s nests and are used by many other bird and animal species. In fact, surveys have shown a moderate to high diversity in animal and plant species, including several Red Data, endemic and protected species in and around the forest. Bigger trees in the forest are reckoned to be older than 300 years. Mining The town and the accompanying industrial area of Sishen came into being because of iron ore mining activity in the Kalahari
— it has one of the five largest open-cast iron ore mining operations in the world.