Travel in South Africa - North West Province - from Lichtenburg to Groot Marico

Bushveld, Groot Marico

MartieCoetser
MartieCoetser

Klerksdorp to Groot Marico

Part 1 of this series - South-Africa-North-West-Province-en-route-from-Klerksdorp-to-Groot-Marico Part 1 - covers the route from Klerksdorp to Lichtenburg via Coligny.

Between Lichtenburg and Ottoshoop the landscape changes from endless flats of maize lands and pasture to bushveld. True African bushveld, where thousands of indigenous wild animals live, multiply and die as if humans don't exist.

Game farrming

Of course, no wild animals are walking free in the streets of South Africa! Although there are a lot of free range game, roaming the bushes and savanas of the country, most wild animals live either in game reserves or on game ranches under the protection of qualified game wardens.

Game farming implies the maintenance and improvement of breeding conditions, the controlling of game's natural enemies and allowing hunters to keep the population of wild life per hectare pasture under control. Statistics of the game farming industry in SA confirms that the total surface area on which game is kept in South Africa amounts to more than 21 million hectares - about 19% of the total surface area of South Africa. Yet the industry generates only about 2,3% of the South African agricultural sector's contribution to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Another significant statistic confirms that well-developed game ranching requires more labor than cattle ranching, therefor game farms contribute largely to job creation.


http://www.saexplorer.co.za/south-africa/map/ottoshoop_map.asp
http://www.saexplorer.co.za/south-africa/map/ottoshoop_map.asp

Lichtenburg to Ottoshoop

Ottoshoop was before the arrival of the Europeans in the mid 1800 the homeland of the Tswana (Barolong) tribe, known for building extensive walls to steer game into traps. During 1879 to 1880 after the discovery of gold, Ottoshoop was the commercial capital of South Africa. Bordering the Kalahari desert, the town ironically drowned in water as it was situated on top of an underground river. Thereafter Johannesburg was founded on Ottoshoop’s blueprint and obtained the status of commercial capital, still holding it today. The Old Water Mill in Ottoshoop is the oldest from the Old Transvaal and still in working condition. Digging for old bottles dumped by gold diggers could be considered nowadays as a profitable endeavor as a rare bottle could be sold for several hundred US dollars on the Internet.

Ottoshoop

© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser

Old house in Ottoshoop (built somewhere in the beginning of the 1900's)

Ottoshoop to Zeerust

The town Zeerust, surrounded by cattle ranches – and also sheep farms to the south and west – as well as farms producing tobacco, citrus and wheat, lies in the Marico valley. Fluorite, lead and chromite mines in the area contribute to the town’s economic welfare.

Zeerust was named after Diederick Coetzee, one of the original owners of the farm that was developed into a town in 1867. Many towns in South Africa were renamed after the demolishing of Apartheid in 1994. If Zeerust were one of them, it would have been renamed to Sefatlhane (dusty place) - the name that was given to it by the indigenous people of the region, the Batswana (Barolong). [Rolong is another name for Tswana. The prefix ‘ba’ means ‘people of’.]

About 50km north of Zeerust is Marula Kop, featuring evidence of iron smelting and terracing during the Iron Age. Two dams in the region attract anglers and water sport enthusiast - the Maricobosveld Dam (Marico Bushveld Dam) and the Kromelmboog Dam (Bended-elbow Dam).

Zeerust

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/8370683
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/8370683

Zeerust

Klein Marico Recreation Centre


6km (±3 Miles) from Zeerust, is the Klein Marico Recreation Centre, situated on a game farm once known as Remosa Riekert. During South Africa’s Apartheid regime Remosa Riekert allowed only “Non-White” visitors. Discrimination came to an end when the Apartheid Regime of three decades was demolished in 1994. Management, offering conference and recreation facilities, including restaurant and accommodation, invites visitors as follows:

"Imagine watching day turn into dawn as the lingering sun disappears … finally gazing at a star filled sky, so bright, so beautiful … with the only sounds disturbing the silence of a magic Marico-Bushveld night the call of a night jar … a jackal, the eternal chirping of crickets and the croaking of frogs down at the pond."


Klein Marico Recreation Centre

© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser

Klein Marico, Zeerust

Walking in a bush like this refresh the soul © MartieCoetser
Walking in a bush like this refresh the soul © MartieCoetser

Herbivores to be seen

On a lucky day you'll see them all at Klein Marico
On a lucky day you'll see them all at Klein Marico

© Martie Coetser (August 2012)

Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2012-08-20 18:03:20
Title :: South Africa ~ North West Province ~ (en route fro
Category :: Hub @ HubPages
Fingerprint :: 5e68c42636413e0b75c765ba6e8646b924cae48c41adc780754b05637bdc0b2c
MCN :: CLG4J-GZMX9-K723Q

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Comments 39 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Very interesting part of your country in South Africa, the Northwest Providence and beautiful too. I love that it is possible to share with others across the world and see other cultures with someone who actually lives there. Wonderful hub. In His Love, Faith Reaper


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Martie...I want to thank you for the wonderful tours you take us on and the interesting education you offer us through your hubs about your exquisite country. You make the perfect tour guide!! UP+++


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Zeerlust here I come, Sista... I have gotten several more pairs of flatties for the trip...! The photography of that locale is especially beautiful to me...

and I'll be danged if you guys don't have Chicken Licken stores as well... you know I will (not) feel right at home there, dahling..., please don't tell effer and that friend of hers... I think they love it there...!!


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Where's my wind full of money, Oh! it just flew out of the window while I was thing of trip to S. Africa would be good, bummer. By the which time of year is the best?

Voted up awesome and very interesting, Joyce


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Could it really be as nice as you make it sound? Thank you.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

I sewed patches on my denims and purchased new sneakers, Martie, so I'm all set for your Grand Tour of SA. Just say the word.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I really enjoyed this geography lesson. Looking at the photos created a sense of wanting to travel to far off places. You did a wonderful job on this hub and I am voting up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

This hub is also outstanding. I love the pictures of the animals and I also like the way you have set up the page. It is very attractive. Very interesting hub and voted way up!!!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I am amazed at how many similarities I see to my South West Texas. And yet - how different. I enjoyed every bit of the tour and the video is exquisite. I loved that music at the last from Forrest Gump - the Feather Theme. I used that in one of my early webpages. The performance on your video is lovely - isn't it the one from the movie?


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is another very interesting look at South Africa, Martie. I love the photos and I enjoyed watching the wildlife in the video. I'm looking forward to continuing the tour!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi, my dear friends! Thank you so much for all your lovely, inspiring comments.

Faith Reaper, especially in open spaces one becomes aware of the mysterious power of an omnipotent Force. Then it is so easy to understand why the old Israelites believed that ‘he is’ should not be called by name.

fpherj48, the North West – most of it – is quite boring comparing to some of the other provinces where mountains/hills and valleys keep the traveler in awe. But I love the open flats just as much as I love all the other geographical regions of SA. So interesting – the sudden changes of regions and climates of the Earth – like different types of clothing…

marcoujor, we will have such a ball…. Please make my year and get yourself down here :)

writer20, best seasons are September-October-November (Spring) and March-April-May (Autumn). October is the most beautiful month. I hope to see you soon :)

Mhatter99, trust me, South Africa will make a deep impression on you :)

drbj, touring the entire country will keep us busy for about 3 months – the maximum time foreigners are allowed down here without a visa. Maybe it’s time for me to become a full time tour guide :) Just wait until I win the Lotto… :)

carol7777, if we can’t travel in real life, what else can we do but travel in articles/hubs like this? Stay tune, we’ll be in Groot Marico by the weekend :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Pamela99, your opinion means a lot to me! I tried to keep it short and simple – brochure style :)

Nellieanna, so good to know you are enjoying this trip to Groot Marico – Oh, and I think you will love that little town. I’ve discovered the video in You-Tube – will have to double check its source :)

AliciaC, by the time I am finish with this series ‘en route from Klerksdorp to Wherever”, you will know why most of SA immigrants now living in other parts of the world just never stop mourning their motherland, though I believe that all immigrants all over the world mourn their motherland.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Thanks for this wonderful tour. Love the pics. I love animals would love to see them all up close. Thanks for sharing Martie.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Martie, I'm with drbj, I ' wanna go too. Really, it is beautiful there. Your Hub is educational and interesting. Pushed all your buttons..Thank's for sharing. I love the pictures too..Hugs**


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Gypsy Rose Lee, surprisingly the animals are not that easy to spot in the bushveld. Perfectly camouflaged, apparently hiding. Often one almost bumps into them and scare them away. One day I touched a Rhyno - thanks to the warden who guided us with the flow of the wind to them. On my own, I would thought the Rhyno was an ordinary bush. At Klein Marico I was a mere 10 steps away from a giraffe. Got the pictures, but unfortunately bad quality :) Thanks for clicking in for the read, Rasma :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Always, thank you for pushing all my buttons.... lol! We would so enjoy a holiday in the bushveld, talking to the trees... :) Take care, my dear Ruby!


Mr B 4 years ago

Well done my "Bokkie" Well it is 6days after you wrote this Hub. I can not WAIT to relive ouer trip in the BEST and LAST part. When can we see the BEST Photo's???? Mwha


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

My dearest Mr B, the hub would have been published if a certain Mr B did not take me on so many awesome trips....

Mwah x 100 :)))


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

It seems as if you are living in an entirely different world! So wild!

No animals walking down the streets? Oh we have them here but they look human:) LOL.

Wow! I was surprised to see that it was only 1994 when Aparteid was demolished? Gosh we are so slow in some things - like think about segregation here in the US - that crap went on until the 1960s!! Crazy!

Excellent hub though - I really love travel and one of the places I dream about going to is Africa. I know I'd love it!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

RealHousewife, South Africa comprises several modern cities and towns, as well as many proverbial one-horse-towns and, of course, ghettos. I think what makes SA unique - in fact the entire central and southern Africa - is its fauna and flora - the millions of wild animals still living in their natural habitats, though under control of the government or private farmers and entrepreneurs. The people down here - all of them on various levels of civilization - are just like all other people in the world.

I would never encourage any foreigners to tour SA on their own. We have a high crime rate - too many heartless, uneducated people not willing to develop themselves into respectable human beings via the correct (and available) channels, and, of course, the shortage of job-opportunities encourages them to become criminals.

Here are many organised tours to pick and chose from. Personally my friend and I have decided to guide one, maybe two, small groups per year from Johannesburg to Cape Town, but mostly for online friends - you will soon see more detail online. So start saving your pennies, Kelly :))


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

First off, marvelous pictures from you Martie, is that a Kudu walking around the rec center? This is a great part two with the bottles and apartheid history. I'm really enjoying learning more and more about your country. You began the process pretty well before you even started this series though. Look forward to the escape from time in.....Groot Marcio. Up and awe ladywriter.


Mr B 4 years ago

Hi Bokkie. Still no part 3? Mwha


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Alastar, yes, that was a Kudu (and his mate as well) grazing ever so casually between the chalets. They are not afraid of humans, but at the same time they will not tolerate humans too close to them. Oh, and they refused to pose for pictures. We've taken a few, but if not in shade, against background spoiling their beauty. The male was dark brown with white rings; the female was smaller and light-red-brown with white rings. To be honest, Alastar, I was surprise to see they were about the size of extra-large-fat dogs and I forgot to ask Mr. B if they were adults or not. While he knows everything about game, those were actually the first kudu's I saw. Oh, of course I've seen them before, but I simply registered them as 'antelopes'. We have such a variety of antelopes down here; the springbok is about the only kind I am able to identify at first sight.

I am so glad you enjoy learning about South Africa, Alastar. I plan to post the last part of this 'Traveling from Klerksdorp to Groot Marico' before the end of the day. In the meanwhile, take care :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Mr B..... LOL! You know writing and publishing hubs are not the most important hobby in my life, and especially not when I am in dire need of sleep after being drained of energy and effectiveness by Your Highness.... :))) Lol!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....and what a labor of love this is Miss Marvelous Martie that you are - and even as you compete with all of the beautiful pictures on both of these world class hub presentations - you are still and by far away the most beautiful sight in all of South Africa - and without hopefully not hurting anyone else's feelings - the most beautiful intelligent woman on the entire planet - so there , I guess I said it - well Mister B , look at it this way - I am just an art lover and male admirer from afar BUT you are the real deal kind sir!

sending you both good wishes and good energy too from lake erie time ontario canada 8:30pm


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Epi, you always makes me smile with your lovely compliments - Not that I take it to my head, I only allow them to warm my heart. And no, you are not hurting anybody-I-know's feelings. Mr. B knows the difference between pure compliments and crooked intentions, and he is smiling all the time because he has the real deal all for himself. I hope you are fine, Colin. Stay tune for Groot Marico - in the middle of the bushveld :))


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

...and yes he is such a nice gentleman - say hello to the lucky man himself - and tell Mister B that he now has the sun, the moon, the stars .....and Martie!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Between you and me, Epi, I am the lucky one having him in my life. He can do without me, while I was, and will be, quite on the losing end without him :)))


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

....well it takes 'two' to tango Martie - and you are both lucky to have each other .....


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

It seems everyone else has said all the good things about your hub and SA. One of my former bosses made several hunting trips to SA back in the 80s. It always broke my heart when I saw the mounted heads he brought back. It was all on the up and up but still heartbreaking.

I was very surprised about "Digging for old bottles dumped by gold diggers"... would never have thought of that.

Thanks for the treat Martie.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm just not getting notified about a lot of hubs! I never saw this one so I'm sorry I'm so late. What a fantastic look at your country. I am fascinated by hubs like this one and your pictures help me to visualize what life is like there. Great job Martie; I really appreciate the tour.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Wonderful hub Martie, it looks and sounds so beautiful. I never get to visit these places so its fascinating to see where others have visited or live, voted up! and shared, nell


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi, tillsontitan! Hunting in SA and the rest of Africa is under strict control. Cattle farmers breed cattle to be eaten by people, and so do game farmers breed game - allowing antelopes and other edible animals to multiply in order to be eaten by humans instead of by lions and leopards. The only difference - cattle (an all other meat) are killed en mass by machines while hunters are allowed to shoot game. No cruelty is allowed and only a specific number of game per season on a farm may be killed in order to prevent over-population. The natural killers of antelopes - lions and leopards - are absent on game farms; they are kept in game reserves where hunting is only sometimes allowed to restore the agro-ecological balance. Personally I don't have any primordial urge to hunt game - and I know many men who don't have the urge. I prefer doing the female thing - digging for roots and gathering vegetation in supermarkets.

Thank you so much for clicking in for the read and commenting :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Always so nice to see you, billybuc. I would love to see your valley in the same way.... traveling from town to town with you. Thanks for hopping in :)


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Hi Martie, Another fascinating and educational hub on your beloved country. I would love to know more about this time and the people who were effected by the change..maybe another hub my friend? I know you would do it much justice.

"During South Africa’s Apartheid regime Remosa Riekert allowed only “Non-White” visitors. Discrimination came to an end when the Apartheid Regime of three decades was demolished in 1994.

Thank you Martie...this was so good!

Sunnie


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi, Nell! I want to say the same to you as I've said to billybuc, because how else will I be able to get an idea of the real England? You know articles about traveling only feature the best attractions and not the common, boring reality. So please dig out your camera, Nell, and share some ordinary, everyday views :) Thank you for coming over for the read :))


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Beautiful Martie,

I had a weaver bird build a nest in the garden. It was great to see all the animals again. We used to have those tiny antelope running wild on the Vlei in Table View. And all the birds. Just stunning.

You got my vote up and 4/5 buttons. Sharing


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Sunnie, I found many hubs about Apartheid in HubPages and regard this one as quite informative - http://hubpages.com/politics/South-African-Aparthe...

I’ve stressed my personal thoughts and awareness about it in here ~

http://hubpages.com/politics/Nelson-Mandela-Happy-...

Fact is, Africa - central and southern Africa - is the home land of Africans. Europeans regarded the southern point as an ideal halfway house for ships moving from Europe to the East in 1652. After the establishment of the halfway house thousands of Europeans saw it as a ‘promised land’ – a place where they could enjoy a better life. South Arica – and the rest of Africa – has been but only a haven for European fortune seekers.

I love South Africa; I was born here, I am a descendent of an immigrant of Austria who arrived here in 1709, still I have no right to claim the country as ‘mine to fight and die for’. True: Whites had suffered and conquered many adversaries since 1652 – the country was proverbially ‘bought’ with the blood of our ancestors – they have managed - by hook or by crook - to develop the country according to Western standards. Fact is, we are not ‘indigenous fauna’, but exotic. We can but only hope that the current (black) government keeps on regarding us as an asset generating profits and that the ignorant don’t butcher all of us in their sprees of revenge and revolt because they don’t get what they want.

Sunnie, thank you for clicking in for the read. Please stay tune for Part 3 – Groot Marico. Hopefully I will be able to publish it before the end of the weekend.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

molometer, it is so nice to see you, knowing I managed to refresh your memories. You lived in Cape Town - a region of mountains, valleys and sea shores.... Did you ever tour the bushvelds of the 'Old Transvaal', or the far-away Kalahari 'where our Sarie lives', or the flat Free State with its acres upon acres of mealy lands. And what about the Groot- and Klein Karoo, the far away land of desolation where the Swartberge reign? Or the green land of Natal? Amazing, all the many different regions/climates down here. Those tiny antelopes were probably Steenbokkies - Raphicerus campestris - They are so cute! Oh, and once we start naming all the beautiful birds down here, we will not be able to stop. Always good to see you, molometer! Thank you so much for the votes and sharing :))

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