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

Updated on September 12, 2015

Bushveld, Groot Marico


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.

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.


© 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).



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
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Title :: South Africa ~ North West Province ~ (en route fro
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