Sishen: an old and well-known mining town in the Northern Cape of South Africa where intrigue awaits you!
Bursting through the barren wastelands of the Northern Cape, like a galaxy of molten glass in bold shades of smoky mauve, graphite and merlot, is the mining town of Sishen. Sishen was opened in 1947 and represents one of the largest iron ore reserves in South Africa. Attractions include Sishen mine, Sishen Golf Club and nearby Morokweng Crater.
Venture off the beaten track into the mysterious mining frontier of the Northern Cape with cheap flights to Sishen. Sishen is home to Sishen Airport (SIS), which is a 30-minute drive from the centre of town. The airport serves South African Airways and CemAir. Non-stop domestic flights to Sishen depart from Johannesburg. Popular connecting flights to Sishen depart from Cape Town. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Sishen is approximately 1 hour 20 minutes.
Popular flights to Sishen
* Please note that the prices are subject to availability and block out dates do apply over peak season.
Why visit Sishen
Sishen is home to one of the largest open-pit mines in the world, which was opened in 1947, and represents one of the largest iron ore reserves in South Africa.
Situated near the border of Botswana and Namibia, Sishen offers a gateway to the wild sun-drenched expanses of the Kalahari Desert. Witness sublime desert landscapes and free roaming African wildlife.
Sishen Golf and Country Club opened in 1979 and stretches across 6450 metres of Camelthorn forest and supple green fairways. With 18 holes, it is a utopia for golfing enthusiasts.
Essential details you need to know before your trip
South African Rand
Setswana / Afrikaans
Sishen Airport (SIS)
Type C / D / M / N
Best time to visit Sishen
Sishen experiences a hot desert climate, with blistering summers and cool winters. Average temperatures range from 33 degrees Celsius in summer to 3 degrees Celsius in winter. Rainfall is scant throughout the year.
The best time to visit Sishen is during autumn (March to May) and spring (September to November). Temperatures are pleasant and skies are clear during these months. If you want to experience the best of the Kalahari Desert, the best time to visit would be during summer (December to February).
For cheap flights to Sishen, the best time to visit would be outside of peak travel seasons.
Weather & Climate in Sishen
Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month
Sishen sprawls across arid savanna dotted with mystical acacia trees and metamorphic rocks that whisper of geological artistry. The town of Sishen glows like a molten marble in streaks of powdered crimson, charcoal and mauve; a canvas for the wild mining frontier of the Northern Cape.
Since its birth in 1947 (operations only began in 1953), Sishen has become one of the largest iron ore reserves in South Africa and the world. The Sishen mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world and produces high-grade hematite ore.
In metaphysics, Hematite, known as ‘Stone for the Mind’ and ‘Blood Ore’, is used for protection and to ground and stabilize. It is also said to connect wearers to the Earth. Perhaps the bountiful reserves of Hematite are what give Sishen an irresistible air of mysticism and mystery.
A trip to Sishen offers you a chance to venture off the beaten track and discover a place of curiosities and old school industrial charm.
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Although Sishen is considered a safe town, crime does happen, so it is advisable to take certain precautions and maintain vigilance at all times.
Travel insurance to cover theft and medical expenses is recommended. Leave your passport and other important documents in the hotel safe, and avoid flaunting wealth and carrying large sums of cash and valuables. Avoid venturing into deserted areas and walking alone at night.
Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are travelling from a yellow fever endemic area. Immunisation against Hepatitis A & B, typhoid, and rabies are recommended. Other routine vaccinations include MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella and polio. Bottled water is recommended.
Meal inexpensive restaurant
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught)
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)
A number of accommodation options are available in the nearby town of Kathu. Accommodation ranges from tranquil safari-style lodges, comfortable and affordable inns, fully equipped guest houses, conveniently located bed and breakfasts, contemporary hotels, and self-catering homes.
Sishen is a small town. Exploring by foot is an easy and exciting way to explore this humble Northern Cape town. However, public transport, such as taxis, do operate within Sishen. If you plan to venture out of Sishen to explore the surrounding areas, car rentals are available in Kathu.