The Eye of the Groot Marico River, South Africa

The Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
The Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser

The Eye of the Groot Marico River

In our country an ‘eye’ is not only a human organ, but also the source of a river – another word for ‘fountain’ or 'spring'.

The most amazing Eye of the Groot (big) Marico River is situated in the North West Province of South Africa. Although the region is being cultivated by farmers, the eye itself is situated in virgin country attracting mainly scuba divers, anglers and lovers of unspoiled nature.

In the 'new' South Africa - post-Apartheid since 1994 - the Marico Eye has been renamed. People now also refer to it as the MOLEMANE EYE after the (new) name of the district.

Seeing the eye in the ‘Middle of Nowhere’ from the air may not arouse any interest, unless one knows that the small pools of water exhibit an enormous dolomitic hole in the ground that produce 36,000 gallons (136274.824 liters) pure water per minute.

Air view of the Eye of the Groot Marico
Air view of the Eye of the Groot Marico | Source
Air view - photo by Joe Oppenheim, 20-09-2010
Air view - photo by Joe Oppenheim, 20-09-2010 | Source
Savanna in the nearby region of the Eye of the Groot Marico © Martie Coetser
Savanna in the nearby region of the Eye of the Groot Marico © Martie Coetser | Source

Visiting the Eye of the Groot Marico

On Valentine's Day 2014 we visited the Eye of the Groot Marico River via the unmarked gate of a private farm.

At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
The Eye of the Groot Marico River visible between the reeds © Martie Coetser
The Eye of the Groot Marico River visible between the reeds © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
The Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
The Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser

The Eye of the Groot Marico River

Peering into the clear water one can only see water plants. Only the scuba divers know the secret entrance to the paradise below....

Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
Eye of the Groot Marico River stirred by an enthusiastic swimmer  © Martie Coetser
Eye of the Groot Marico River stirred by an enthusiastic swimmer © Martie Coetser

Video: Scuba diving in the Marico Oog

Scuba Diving in the Marico Oog

Only about two hour’s drive from Pretoria and two-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg, the Marico Oog (our local name for the eye), is a popular resort for scuba divers. Visibility under water average about 10 meters, although it may become poor and congested when silt is kicked up at the bottom of the pool. “Bottom” is actually not bottom per se, as the body of a diver who had drowned some years ago was delivered by the Augrabies Falls 1000 km (620 miles) south of the eye.

With extra diving weights divers can go down up to 30 meters where they will see a notice from the SAPD: “If you pass this point we will not go down to look for you.”

Vital information for scuba divers is available at www.unwatad.com and www.divestyle

The Augrabies Falls in Northern Cape Province

240 m deep, 18 km long remains of a crater © Erwan Deverre @ Flicr
240 m deep, 18 km long remains of a crater © Erwan Deverre @ Flicr | Source
Source

Spring water for sale in South Africa

Of course, the water of the Marico Oog is suitable for human consumption. The bottled water has not been modified and has not undergone treatment other than carbon and micro filtration. It has no additives, nor are any minerals extracted from the water.

For more information about Vippita Mineral Water go to marico-oog-vippita

Another pool between the reeds at the Eye of the Groot Marico -

Eye of the Groot  Marico River © Martie Coetser
Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
Peering into the depths of the second pool between the reeds at the Eye of the Groot  Marico River © Martie Coetser
Peering into the depths of the second pool between the reeds at the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
Staring over the reeds, trying to see the beginning of the Groot Marico River at the Eye of the Groot  Marico River © Martie Coetser
Staring over the reeds, trying to see the beginning of the Groot Marico River at the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser
At the Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser

GALLERY of pictures of the Eye of the Groot Marico River -

More pictures of the Marico Oog is available at

www.google.co.za/search?q=Marico+oog

Marico-Oog-Aug-Sept-08.pdf

The Groot Marico River

Groot Marico River in the region of Groot Marico © Martie Coetser
Groot Marico River in the region of Groot Marico © Martie Coetser
Groot Marico River in the region of Groot Marico © Martie Coetser
Groot Marico River in the region of Groot Marico © Martie Coetser
Groot Marico River in the region of Groot Marico © Martie Coetser
Groot Marico River in the region of Groot Marico © Martie Coetser
Groot Marico River in the region of Groot Marico © Martie Coetser
Groot Marico River in the region of Groot Marico © Martie Coetser

Rivers in South Africa

Source

The Groot Marico River

The Groot (big) Marico River flows northwards and eventually join forces with the Klein (small) Marico river.

For the next stretch it is called the Madikwene River.

When the Madikwene River joins forces with the Sehubyane River the name of the river changes to Marico River to form a border between South Africa and Botswana. This river is one of the last untouched free-flowing rivers in South Africa. Keeping the mines out of the Marico’s pure water is an ongoing struggle. Read more about this struggle here: www.farmersweekly-water-pure

Further downstream the Crocodile River joins the Marico River and hereafter it is called the Limpopo River, the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe. The Limpopo is the second largest river in Africa that drains to the Indian Ocean.

In the Groot Marico River and its tributaries are seven dams:

  1. Molatedi Dam (near Zeerust),
  2. Kromellenboog Dam (near Groot Marico in the Klein Marico River)
  3. Marico-Bosveld Dam (Riekertsdam near Groot Marico)
  4. Uitkyk Dam (near Zeerust)
  5. Klein-Maricopoort Dam (near Zeerust in the Klein Marico River)
  6. Sehujwane Dam (near Zeerust)
  7. Madikwe Dam (near Groot Marico in the Thulane River - a tributary of the Groot Marico)

Another dam on private property near Groot Marico (town) is the Rooikransdam, to be accessed with permission given by Groot Marico Information Centre at www.marico.co.za/


Rooikrans Dam

Rooikrans Dam at Groot Marico © Martie Coetser (Spring 2012)
Rooikrans Dam at Groot Marico © Martie Coetser (Spring 2012)

Valentine's Day 2014 at the Eye of the Groot Marico River

Here comes my Valentine's flower - A water lily from the Marico Oog © Martie Coetser
Here comes my Valentine's flower - A water lily from the Marico Oog © Martie Coetser
Water Lily from the Marico Oog  © Martie Coetser
Water Lily from the Marico Oog © Martie Coetser
My friend Belinda and her husband of 16 years at the Marico Oog  on Valentine's Day 2014 © Martie Coetser
My friend Belinda and her husband of 16 years at the Marico Oog on Valentine's Day 2014 © Martie Coetser

© Martie Coetser

© Martie Coetser
© Martie Coetser

Groot Marico Town

Relevant to this article is my article about the charming Groot Marico town. Link: Groot-Marico



More information and directions to The Eye of the Groot Marico -

Video: The Eye of the Groot Marico River

© 2014 Martie Coetser

More by this Author


Comments 52 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Very interesting Martie. Here in the States we have the Missouri River, and I went to the "eye" of that river once...it is a small spring that you can straddle coming out of a meadow on a mountainside....and it turns out to be one of the larger rivers in this country. Pretty cool!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

You have combined historical data, music videos, local photography from what looks like a pleasant trip into unspoiled nature in such a manner that makes people want to visit. Thanks for sharing some South African sunshine with those covered in snow across Canada and the folks along the East coast of the U.S. A very nice and peaceful presentation.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi billybuc, I am so in awe of Nature. Where does all the water in this specific hole come from, I wonder. And now I can't even remember what the study of rivers and underground water is called.

As always, thank you so much for your support :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Mckbirdbks, thanks for your most inspiring comment. If it was not for the rubber carpet I would not have walked all the way to the eye. Imagine finding one's way through the slumps and all those reeds? Fortunately all the crocodiles in the region are being kept in a nearby nature reserve. I believe this place was once upon a time avoid, or perhaps seen as 'holy' or maybe 'unholy'?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

What a beautiful way to spend Valentine's Day, Martie! It's wonderful to see unspoiled waters somewhere in this world. The photos really portray the serenity of the eye of the Marico River. Your water lily is gorgeous. Do they have a scent?

I very much enjoyed this hub. Just beautiful!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

The pictures are amazing. I can't imagine going down into that eye, but i admire the courage of those who do. I'm learning that Africa has many beautiful areas through your hubs and pictures. Thank you Martie...

Groot hugs


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Eye of the Groot Marico River, South Africa looks incredible. The photos are beautiful and looks a wonder indeed. Nature has its way of getting into our hearts. Voted up, useful, interesting beautiful and awesome.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

This is a real adventure for many who seek to find nature's hidden treasures. It is always meaningful to find the source of a resource, this one is quite beautiful. From small beginnings comes great power. Your photos show the scenery well, especially love the huge white flower. The video was interesting. A wonderful read!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi, bravewarrior, I wanted you to experience this amazing eye of the Groot Marico river via the pictures, and hope I have succeeded. I love to be in unspoiled nature, as long as I feel safe. The water lilies don't have a scent; apparently the bright white and yellow colours are all they need to attract insects and birds, and frogs on top of it.

Oh boy, now you have triggered my curiosity. Exactly what is the purpose and function of those water lilies? Obviously the long roots give shelter to fish, and what else? I will update this hub with relevant information. To be researched. Lol!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Always, what I love about the Groot Marico and surrounding regions - the Bushveld, as we call it - is its unspoiled-ness. 'Virgin country', is such an appropriate description. On the other hand, most of our country is unspoiled. Nature still truimph over humans and their doings. Although people living in cities and big towns may not be aware of this, unless they grab every opportunity to spend a weekend in the country.

Me, too, can't imagine being a scuba diver. Although I love nature, things like slimy frogs, slippery fish, buzzing insects, mud between my toes, snakes, creepers, etc, give me the jitters. I am sending some groot hugs right back to you, my dear Ruby -:))


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi, DDE, can you imagine the rivers and creeks underground - a network of tunnels filled with pure water. Thanks for clicking in for the read :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Teaches, I can't help but wonder what the eye was like in prehistoric times. Maybe an active volcano?


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

What a beautiful picture show indeed! Thank you for taking us along on your Valentine's Day trip to the Root Marico Eye ...fascinating. And my favorite picture is of your gorgeous Valentine's Day flower and how it was delivered! Romantic to say the least. Up and more, pinning and tweeting. Hugs, Faith Reaper


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

OK, Sista, this is my second read of the expose of your fascinating and romantic getaway for Valentine's Day.

Why, prithee, am I saying romantic...?? Why the heck did I have to come back a second time after thoroughly cleansed my spectacles and clearing my thoughts of anything remotely ...well, less than chaste?

No, dear Faith Reaper and Shauna...it wasn't the picture of the water lily. That was lovely. I am sure it has a whiff of romance or something like that.

The GROOT of my issue is that shot of Mr B with my Sista in the EYE...if y'all look really really carefully... 'nuff said.

Glad you had a nice time, Martie. Love you so and always learn a little somethin somethin from your writing, mar


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Yeah, I noticed that too, Mar!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

"Hello, Dr Optical...I would like to cancel my appointment for this afternoon."

Whew, thanks, Sha!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hehe Mar ... you put that good eye on that picturesque spot ...most grandiose! Bless you. Love you all


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Dear Faith, isn't that the most beautiful flower? The best romantic picture, however, was the one I have taken of my friend's husband. Obviously he still adores her after being married for 16 years. Keeping in mind that strangers searching for adventure in inspoiled nature via Google will not find the romantic affairs of an author interesting, I have decided to share pictures of my Valentine only via private email. So check your mail..... lol!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Lol okay sweetie, yes, your friend's husband is very romantic and what a beautiful flower!!!. I will most anxiously check my email : ). Hugs


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

My dearest Mar, thanks again for being my editor and for spotting my grammar errors before I could made a fool of myself. Lol! Only 2 errors, but still 2 too many for a writer of Internet content.

The shot of Mr. B with my flower in his hand.... uhum.... just too private and precious to share with unknown strangers. I will send it to you via private email.... :))


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

Your pictures are awesome, so much beauty. That is an amazing amount of water. I love scenery and am quite content visiting areas without too many peope to just enjoy nature. This is an interesting hub and just beautiful.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

LOVE my private e-mail -- simply beautiful... and love you even more, my dear Sista!

May you all have a lovely weekend! Hugs, mar


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Me too : )

Continue to love and enjoy this life sweet friend! Hugs, Faith


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

@ Pamela - Behind those reeds is a new established holiday resort with chalets, caravan stands and I think even a Super Tube. I don't mind sharing nature with others, but most of the time I prefer being isolated and 'alone on this planet' with people close to my heart. I am using an ordinary Samsung 'aim-and-press' camera. One day I am going to be a serious, professional photographer with the best camera on the market.

@ Marcoujor and Faith Reaper - You make me giggle! Lol! Now what kind of a hub can I write to suit those kind of pictures: "Romance After Fifty" :))))


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

Gosh what beautiful country you have near you. The Eye of the Great Marico, falls and all are wonderful. Unspoiled country is certainly worth the trips. Thank you, Martie, for your write-up and marvelous pictures. If that water was available over here I' wouldn't be the only one buying it regular. You look great m'lady and your friend Belinda's hubby sure knows the way to a woman's heart.:)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Alastar, I am so glad I am able to boast with the wonders in my country for the entire world to see. South Africa is honestly a beautiful country, but so are all countries, of course. We live on an amazing planet.

Oh, you must know that my BF beats my friend's husband when it comes to knowing the way to MY heart.... :)


midget38 profile image

midget38 2 years ago from Singapore

The Groot Marico River looks like a hotspot of biodiversity and is so beautiful !!! Sharing!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

This is an extraordinary hub, Martie! Your photos are wonderful, and with the videos, reveal another world. The Groot Marico River is like a magnificent living entity…what a remarkable body of water and world unto itself. That notice from the SAPD: “If you pass this point we will not go down to look for you,” speaks volumes. Thank you for sharing this with us. Voted way up and shared.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, Martie, that is an excellent topic for a hub you have come up with there, "Romance After Fifty" ... : ) I know I would read it and get my hubby to do so too! Hugs, Faith


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi, Midget, if rocks could talk.... I plan to phone our local university. Maybe they have more information, and especially about the alleged connection with the Augrabies Falls. Thanks for sharing :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Genna, interesting is the fact that divers have to use weights to go 30 meters deep. The force of the water coming from the underground source is incredible. But if there is a connection with the falls that is miles upon miles away, there must be some suction involved. Or what do I know. My writer's eye sees a breathing animal with seven tails....


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Faith, I have filed the title in my 'To be hubbed" folder :)))


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I loved the photos, Martie! This is a beautiful, interesting and very enjoyable hub.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Alicia. Always nice to see you in my hubs :)


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 2 years ago

What a Wonderful and Interesting read Martie, very Educational, and Great Photos too. Kinda, Romantic as well as Beautiful! Along with the Video, you really do reveal another world that most of us will never get to see in person.

Voted UP & Interesting & Beautiful!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

B.Marlin, and it is also true that virtual visits to other worlds are often better than real visits. Thanks for coming over to enjoy a moment at the eye of the Groot Marico river -)


Vickiw 2 years ago

Dear Martie,

It has taken a while, but finally I am here! What beautiful photos, so many, and such an interesting record of your Valentine's exploration.

Thank you for including us all in this very personal view of the eye of the Groot Marico. It looks as though it was a hot day. Hope there weren't any snakes in that undergrowth! Beautiful, and loved the videos too!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Vicki, I am sure there must be snakes, and who knows, perhaps a lost crocodile or two. I honestly appreciated those rubber carpets and most of all my personal bodyguard :)

It is always hot in the Bushveld, even in winter. On this specific day the temperature was 35C, and I do believe it was mild comparing to normal February temperatures.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

This is such a beautiful place. I can't get over how clear the water is. You can make out the details of the water plants just from a picture. Amazing. How sweet is that, the Valentine flower offered to your friend by her husband.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Crafty, times like this I wish I had a better camera. Thanks for the visit and comment :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

What a lovely way to spend Valentines day Martie! fascinating read, and what lovely clean water, I would love to have a swim in there! wonderful! voted up and shared, nell


suzettenaples 2 years ago

Fascinating article and photos! This is so interesting to see where it actually starts as practically a stream of water. The river is beautiful and what a great place to go swimming. Looks like you had fun! Not knowing much about S. Africa, this was informative for me . Thanks for sharing.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This was truly beautiful, Martie, and educational. What unspoiled treasure there is to see underwater. Loved the pictures. It was almost like being there. And the romantic conclusion with the lily really topped it off. Wow.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Nell, next time I will definitely have a swim in there. Glad you enjoyed the read :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Suzette, I love to share this kind of information with my online friends. South Africa is a beautiful country :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Peg, I am so glad you enjoyed this hub. Nature will always fascinate me, and even more so when I am with Mr Right :)


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 21 months ago

It's hard not to think of "I am Groot."

That being said, the waterway is definitely beautiful. The waterfalls of Africa are on my bucket list. The waterfall shown here looks, rough, violent and muddy. It it deafening to stand before it?


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 20 months ago from South Africa Author

Poetryman,

Here is links to excellent videos of the Augrabies Falls. South Africa has beautiful rivers and water falls. Keep it in your bucket list :)

https://youtu.be/G0SjakTcais

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtbC1FSowjU


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 16 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

What a fantastic article! Can you believe it, its the first time I've heard of the Marico Oog. Your photos are amazing and these waterfalls! I always thought you have to visit the Victoria falls to see Waterfalls like that! Next time when I find myself in Gauteng I must visit the Marico Oog.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 16 months ago from South Africa Author

Nadine, geez, you had to wait 10 days for a reply! I am so sorry! This novel I am writing is a monster, keeping me jailed and away from everybody. For the sake of tourism they can do a lot more with the Marico Oog, I believe the demand doesn't justify the needed capital investment. The Augrabies Waterfalls are not that far away from you. It is not always in flood, but when it is, the view is spectacular. There are also beautiful waterfalls in the Eastern Transvaal. In Limpopo and Mpumalanga, but also in dire need of development to meet the demands of tourists. Thanks for reading and commenting ;)


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

What a beautiful river this is. I wish I was more conscious of these rivers when I was there in SA.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 10 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi aesta! Sitting on the banks of a river, or any kind of water, just looking at the water, is the best, and most enjoyable, way of getting rid of my stress. Thanks for visiting the Eye of the Great Marico river :)

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