Holiday Accommodation in Potgietersrus

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Bossiesveld PotgietersrusCamping & Caravan
Deo Valente At Martin's Drift PotgietersrusSelf-catering
Oryx Ranch PotgietersrusSelf-catering
Protea Hotel Park PotgietersrusHotel / Lodge
Protea Hotel The Park      PotgietersrusHotel / Lodge
Shingelana Lodge PotgietersrusBed & Breakfast
Wees Tuis B&B PotgietersrusBed & Breakfast

Mokopane (Potgietersrus)

Tourist Routes/ Meanders
The African Ivory Route

Stunning bushveld environment and a multi-cultural community and history give Mokopane a unique character.The town and immediate surroundings boast fascinating ancient caves, the Big Five, San rock art, curios, typically
bushveld food and drink such as biltong (dried meat) and mampoer (a potent drink), tropical gardens and traditional dancing. The area is rich in minerals, and platinum, diamonds and granite are mined. In the adjacent rural area
of Mahwereleng in the Waterberg, traditional lifestyles are still maintained. Mokopane also offers a wonderful selection of outdoor activities ranging from hiking, camping and 4x4 trails, to birding, angling and game viewing.

Just two hours from Gauteng, the town acts as the perfect getaway destination and the ideal stopover for travellers en route to Botswana, Zimbabwe and the Kruger National Park.

Mokopane serves a rich agricultural area in which wheat,tobacco, cotton, beef, maize, peanuts and citrus are farmed. The Zebediela Citrus estate, 55 km to the south east, is one of the biggest citrus farms in the southern hemisphere. The bushveld vegetation of the area features many acacia trees and aloes which are at their best in June and July.

The town is named after the Ndebele chief Mokopane (also known as Makapan) and was previously known as Potgietersrus after the Voortrekker leader Piet Potgieter who was fatally wounded during the campaign against Makapan in 1854.

One of the most notable archaeological and historical sites in the country is found at Makapan's Valley, 15 km north of the town. The sediments, fossils, bones and artefacts found in the caves in the valley preserve a unique record of hominid habitation and evolution dating back 3,3 million years. The valley which has stood at the frontier of palaeontological and archaeological research for much of the twentieth century has been declared a National Heritage Site.

Distance from Polokwane 57 km
Distance from Pretoria 215 km
Distance from Johannesburg 270 km
Summer temperature range 17,7 - 29,3C
Winter temperature range 6,9 - 22,1C

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES

Visitors to Mokopane should not miss the opportunity of going on a guided tour of Makapan's Valley where extensive cultural and palaeontological deposits have played a crucial role in furthering our understanding of later human evolution and the appearance of modern man. The Cave of Hearths is one of only two Stone Age sites in the world that contain an unbroken sequence of artefacts
from the Earlier Stone Age to the Later Stone Age.

Makapan's Valley, strategically located along an ancient route of seasonal migration for huge herds of antelope through the Makapanspoort, is believed to have been the scene of human interaction since the mid-17th century. The Cave of Gwasa (Historic Cave) was a site of repeated refuge from conflicts. In 1854, the cave, also known as Makapan's Cave, was the scene of a month-long siege of chief Makapan and several thousand members of the Kekana chiefdom by the Voortrekkers following an attack on a party of trekboers at Moorddrift.

Visits to the fascinating Makapan's Valley must be arranged in advance by contacting the Mogalakwena Bushveld Community Tourism Association.

The Arend Dieperink Museum contains a valuable cultural historical collection of Sotho and Voortrekker artefacts and is housed in a graceful stone building originally built as a school.The museum portrays the history of the town and surroundings from the time of the ape-men at Makapan's Cave, right through to the Anglo Boer War and recent times. Mampoer and fresh bread are available on request.

There are various game and nature reserves in the area. The Game Breeding Centre of the National Zoological Gardens Pretoria features exotic and indigenous animals and offers the perfect family outing. Guided tours and game drives are available in the reserve that hosts black rhinoceros as well as a large variety of other game species.

The Percy Fyfe Reserve situated approximately midway between Polokwane and Mokopane is a breeding station for protected species like roan, tsessebe and Addo buffalo. Camping and hiking
is permitted in the reserve. The Doorndraaidam Nature Reserve provides opportunity for angling, water-sports, hiking, camping, bird-watching and off-roading. Hiking, 4x4 trails and camping can
also be enjoyed at Thabaphaswa, 'the black and white mountain', where the Mashashane Dancers frequently perform. The Skeurkrans Trails are equally popular.

Botanists will be fascinated by a group of Ana trees (Acacia Albida} 16 km from the town on the Steilloop-Marken road. Apart from their botanical significance, in that the trees are a rarity in the area north of the Waterberg Mountains, it is said that David Livingstone used to camp under this cluster of trees.

Visitors with an artistic bent will find much to enjoy. At the Johann Koch Art Gallery in town, the well-known wildlife artist can be met and his latest works viewed. Art workshops at the Mabothe River Camp in the Waterberg mountains offer a variety of practical art courses. Sue's Homenet Village accommodates arts, crafts, a restaurant and coffee shop, and is the venue for the annual Kierieklapper Arts Festival in August. At Create-a-Craft where training and manufacturing takes place, curios can be purchased.

Midway Ceramics, 20 km north of Mokopane on the old road to Polokwane, is open to the public on weekdays. Here all pots are handmade using clay from the local quarry. Visitors can design their own pots and wall murals and clay tiles are made on request. Browse through the shop or visit the on-site factory and watch the locals work their magic.

Various tours in and around Mokopane can be arranged to gain insight into the economic activities of the area. Visit the Mokopane Platinum Mine or the Klipspringer Diamond Mine. Tours can be arranged through the Tourism Association.