Ariesfontein to Zuurfontein

The car was still parked in the middle of the road, vaguely pointing towards Bitterfontein. Not far away a fat lizard was sunning himself – and I was sure he was checking me out. Just the occasional doringdraad fence cut the loneliness ..!

South Africa has some 60 communities and railway sidings with names ending in ‘fontein’.
Most are remote, situated in the drier areas (and most of the actual springs have long since dried up). This collection of Obie Oberholzer’s photographs represents two major journeys to those places.

Transportation was a battered red Fiat with all seats but the driver’s removed to make way for camera gear and basic living utensils. He covered 14 000 hot kilometres between fonteins in 1985 and 1986.

I love to travel and look – to look at people and places and things. To journey somewhere, to watch big things get smaller, mingle, change hue and disappear. To look so far that it hurts . . . and smell Africa.

There’s freedom in not knowing quite where you’re going – I mean, what’s another 100 kilometres if you’re making your way towards Swartwitpensbokfonteinberg?