Normally, a ‘traffic jam’ in Bothaville and its surrounds means getting stuck behind a combine harvester for a few minutes.
This sleepy rural atmosphere changes radically for the four days of the Nampo event. Upwards of 70 000 visitors descend on the small Free State town over this period and the daily queue of cars can mean a wait of half an hour or longer.
Arrive early and be prepared to exercise your patience.
Remember to make a mental note of where you park, otherwise you might struggle to find your car amongst the ocean of vehicles at the end of the day. Consider heading home at around 3pm to avoid sitting in traffic when leaving the grounds.
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Sunscreen and a hat
You will be out and about in the sun for most of the day, so you are strongly advised to wear sunscreen. If you forget your hat, buy one at the Farmer’s Weekly stall!
— Gerhard Uys (@Gerharduysbeer) April 5, 2018
Wear comfortable shoes
The Nampo showgrounds are large, spread-out and rather dusty in parts; exploring the exhibits and stalls require a considerable amount of walking and standing. Wear comfortable shoes or sandals – this is no place for high heels!
What to eat?
“The best vetkoek I’ve ever had was from the stall next to the main Nampo hall,” says Vian Roos, Farmer’s Weekly’s art director. Boerie rolls, sosaties, burgers, jafels, curry-and-rice, delicious tuisnywerheid treats and much more are available at other stalls.
What not to miss
Don’t leave Nampo without visiting the Farmer’s Weekly stall (Nampo Hall, Stands 67 & 84), where you can meet some of the faces behind South Africa’s oldest and most trusted farming magazine.
The mechanisation displays are also not to be missed.
Practical demonstrations of planting, harvesting and tilling equipment are a must-see if you’re thinking of buying new equipment or simply wanting to catch up on the latest technology.
The livestock exhibition features a comprehensive display of cattle, sheep, goat and horse breeds.
If you’re interested in seed cultivars, make sure you pop in at the Nampo seed plots close to the Caltex hall.
The Engen tractor museum makes for an interesting visit and the 4×4 demonstrations always draw large crowds.
If you have an interest in home décor, plan to spend some time at the Sampi halls, for gifts, art and décor. There’s a wide variety of beautifully made articles.
Nampo has a take-off and landing strip manned by an air traffic control officer during the day, but the airfield is not registered and is used at your own risk. Be advised that there is considerable air traffic over the Nampo four-day event.
Runway length: 1 200m – grass
Width: 20m x 20m, clear on all sides
Height above sea level: 1 276m
Air traffic control times: 7am to 5pm
Traffic pattern: left-hand turn
Airspace: Radius S27° 13’ 36”, E26° 41’ 00”, five nautical miles (9k); height above ground 914m.
Radio frequency: 120,2 MHz; call sign ‘Nampo Tower’
Be sure to buy the Nampo preview issue of Farmer’s Weekly – the cover date is 11 May, and it hits the shelves on 7 May. The issue will feature a review of equipment on display at Nampo as well as a map of Nampo to help you find your way around the showground.
For more information about Nampo, visit nampo.co.za
This article has been updated 1/05/2018.