Skip to main content

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

Highlighted with red is the North West Province of South Africa

South Africa, North West Province

The North West Province in South Africa is by far not as famous as the Cape Province, though it does have many unique and intrinsic-South African attractions, such as Groot Marico, the hometown of one of South Africa's best known short story writers, Charles Bosman (3 February 1905 – 14 October 1951).

Groot Marico is well known for its astounding African bushveld. In the vicinity is one of the 17 game reserves in the North West Province, the Madikwe Game Reserve - one of the largest and most popular reserves in the country comprising 70 000 hectares of bushveld hosting cheetahs, wild dogs, lion, hyenas, black and white rhino, giraffe, buffallo, zebra and all kinds of bucks and wild animals.

Farmers in the Groot Marico district are well known for the distillation of Mampoer - a strong alcoholic drink like Vodka, fermented and distilled fruits of all sorts.

Herman Charles Bosman's opinion of Groot Marico -

"There is no other place I know that is so heavy with atmosphere, so strangely and darkly impregnated with that stuff of life that bears the authentic stamp of South-Africa."

The travel distance from Klerksdorp to Groot Marico is 162km (100 Miles). From Johannesburg in the Gauteng Province via Pretoria the distance is 206km (128 Miles). Therefor Groot Marico could easily be scheduled as the second overnight venue for tourists touring the western part of South Africa from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Relevant info about South Africa and its NINE provinces, and in particular about the North West Province with its FOUR districts, is provided in my hub South-Africa-en-route-from-Klerksdorp-to-Pretoria.


Klerksdorp to Ventersdorp

Heading from Klerksdorp in the direction of Groot Marico via Ventersdorp, Coligny, Lichtenburg, Ottoshoop and Zeerust - not the shortest route - the 72km (45 Miles) from Klerksdorp to Ventersdorp disclose the region’s agricultural activities. For the traveler the landscape seems to be a never-ending stretch of nothingness.

Region Venterdorp, North West Povince, South Africa

Region Venterdorp, North West Povince, South Africa

Between Klerksdorp and Ventersdorp three rivers provide paradises for anglers and water sport enthusiasts. In the Schoonspruit, originating 3 kilometers north of Ventersdorp, is the Neserdam (Klerksdorpdam), in the Swartleegte River is the Elandskuildam and in the Rietspruit the Rietspruitdam.


Ventersdorp to Coligny

Just before Ventersdorp we turn left to the next town on our route, Coligny – a maize farming town named after the Huguenot leader, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France who fled France during the 16th and 17th century’s religious persecutions.

Coligny seems to be just another one-horse-town, though with an interesting history and essential commercial enterprises for the farmers in one of the richest maize growing regions in South Africa. The silo in the middle of the town, next to the station, was the first vertical silo to be built in the North West Province, previously part of Transvaal. (After the end of Apartheid in 1994, the province once known as Transvaal was divided into 4 provinces ~ Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West Province.)

Credit to Ivan Muller @

Credit to Ivan Muller @

Coligny to Lichtenburg

For the traveler the 81km (50 Miles) per car from Ventersdorp via Coligny to Lichtenburg seem to consist of more boring flats as they have seen between Klerksdorp and Ventersdorp. Providing a frugal feast for the eyes are only maize lands upon maize lands alternated by pale green and tawny-brown pasture. Now and then a small herd of cattle, or a cluster of trees giving shelter to a farmhouse or the humble residences of laborers, stir their imagination. Only the lover of art gets lyrical about an apparently lonesome tree along the road, a windmill etched into the sky, the beautiful blue sky, a floating snow-white cloud looking familiar and silos growing from midgets into giants as they get closer while the miles to them disappear into the past. Eventually in Lichtenburg the traveler will realize that thousands of people actually live in the region.

Between Coligny and Lichtenburg ~ dry, winter season

Between Coligny and Lichtenburg ~ dry, winter season


Rich in history and culture, Lichtenburg (town of light) was in 1925-1935 the home of thousands of prospectors in search of diamonds after a large diamond was discovered in the area. The total diamonds discovered during this period was approximately 7 million carats, including the world’s largest flawless red diamond, known as the ‘pigeon blood red’.

Scroll to Continue

Bakerville near Lichtenburg on the Zeerust road was the richest public diggings ever mined. Although the rush was over by 1928, and the second rush in 1945 also came to an end, optimists are still digging for diamonds through tunnels of gravel.

Known as the western corner of South Africa’s ‘Maize Triangle’, Lichtenburg’s main agricultural enterprise is maize, but also groundnuts and sunflower seeds are popular agricultural investments in this region. The production of cement is another remarkable endeavor, making the Lichtenburg region a highly productive part of the country.

Example of a Pigeon Blood Red African Ruby Diamond

Lichtenburg, North West Province, South Africa

Lichtenburg, North West Province, South Africa

In the Lichtenburg region is Wondergat (Amazing Hole) – one of the deepest dolomite sinkholes filled with water in the country and a most famous getaway for ambitious divers.

Heading from Lichtenburg in the direction of Groot Marico, the landscape changes from Savannah to Bushveld.

Bushveld, North West Province, South Africa

Part 2 - from Lichtenburg to Groot Marico

More photo tours of Sout Africa

© Martie Coetser (August 2012)

Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2012-08-19 19:18:50
Title :: South Africa ~ North West Province ~ (en route fro
Category :: Hub @ HubPages
Fingerprint :: 4fba0b2756b04d072195e2cff10f3631c41528ea02e311041621eb049fbb207c


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 21, 2013:

Hi Gus! Good to know you enjoy my traveling hubs. Take care!

Gustave Kilthau from USA on January 21, 2013:

Hi Martie (MartieCoetser) - Now on to parts 2 and 3 of this fun expedition. Good pix for me to look at and fine writing to read. For what more could a sensible person ask? Thanks.

Gus :-)))

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on September 24, 2012:

sgbrown, South Africa is indeed a very diverse area, from semi-desert to tropical. I hope to see you one day :) I would gladly be your personal tour-guide :)

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on September 24, 2012:

This is a wonderful hub! So many facts about South Africa I did not know. It is obviously a very diverse area. I would love to visit someday, a trip to South Africa has been on my bucket list for years! Voting up and more! :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on September 06, 2012:

Sunnie, I am sure you will enjoy touring SA. Save your pennies and come. I am busy to plan/organize two ten-day tours from Johannesburg to Cape Town. One in April-May and the other one in September-October. Starting next year. Always nice to see you in my corner, Sunnie. Almost 2:00am down here - my bed is calling. Take care until I see you in Part 2 :))

Sunnie Day on September 06, 2012:

Hello Martie, My goodness this was a fascinating hub with so much richness. I loved learning about the Province of South Africa, it is a place that is filled with such history, adventure, and most of all beauty. Martie besides Wales..Africa would be on the top of my list to visit..You did such a beautiful job.


epigramman on September 03, 2012:

.....a woman's greatest asset, my dear Martie, is a man's imagination!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on September 03, 2012:

Lol, epigramman, as if you know my mountains and valleys! Tralala.. lol!

epigramman on September 03, 2012:

..and 'your' mountains and valleys .... are never boring dear Martie.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on September 03, 2012:

Hi Colin, I am so glad to see you in here, traveling with us, seeing what we are seeing. This part of the country is a bit boring without mountains and valleys, but it ooze calmness and tranquility I frequently need. Stay tune for part 3 - in the middle of the bushveld. Thank you for your lovely compliments. You're such an adorable charmer.

epigramman on September 02, 2012:

Thank you sincerely my dear Martie the Magnificent for this splendid hub travelogue and now I know where the prettiest girl in the world comes from - I would like to say that Mister B is the luckiest man in the world then - and that makes two of you - sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 8:05pm and now onto part 2 .....

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on September 01, 2012:

Hi RealHousewife, yes, I was born down here - descendant from Jacob Kutzer who fled from Austria in 1709. At that time King Charles XII had plunged many European countries into misery. South Africa is a beautiful country, but most foreigners have a negative perception of it due to sensational and negative Media coverage.

I hope to enlighten many with my 'traveling in South-Africa' hubs, Kelly. Thank you for clicking in for the read.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on August 31, 2012:

I love these hubs about Africa...I'm so curious - have you always lived there Martie? Seems so exotic and I just have to get there some day!

Love the ruby...I often think about Diamonds and though they are pretty we humans sure place a high value on them!

Another excellent hub from you - really enjoyed it!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 25, 2012:

Eddy, so GOOD to see you're back. Expect me in your corner before the end of this day :)

Eddy Jones from Wales. on August 25, 2012:

Wow what an amazing hub Martie and it is so nice to be back reading your hubs once more. Thank you for sharing this gem and enjoy your weekend.


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 22, 2012:

drbj, Movie Master & Pamela

Thank you so much for your comments.

I LOVE touring my country - oh, as a matter of fact all countries as the opportunity presents itself - I have a keen interest in history and geography and fauna and flora, always randomly shooting pictures, then play with the pictures forever and a day.... Although, I have learned how to spend the minimum time accomplishing just the essential requirement. As you can see, the postcards and pictures are not that fancy and smart - just good enough for this hub (according to my idea of good enough.... lol!) For other purposes I will put in more time and effort.

drbj, we will promote our tours from here up to Alaska. You will certainly hear me shout..... :) And if you can't make it in reality, you'll make it in some kind of album/journal. I am actually very excited about this plan of us, but in no hurry. An yet, as ready as a rocket to be launched. Commeth the tourists, commeth the tour..... (So nothing ever go lost.... all the knowledge and experience I've obtained during 20 years of organizing tours and camps and performances for an orchestra, can now be utilized all over again.)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 22, 2012:

Amazing hub. Since I didn't know anything about this area, this hub is a great learning experience. I love your pictures also and that ruby ring is gorgeous. I am looking forward to reading part 2. Awesome and very interesting.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 22, 2012:

I look forward to reading Martie!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 21, 2012:

What a grand tour of this part of your country, Martie, with your relevant commentary and exceptional photos! If your plan to offer a Grand Tour materializes let me know. One never know, you know. :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 21, 2012:

Hi my liewe Baby Tjoklits, how amazing is our ability to enjoy a tour of a forreign country by simply looking at pictures and reading some interesting infirmation? I think this hub - and the rest of the series - could be called 'broshures'? Or what about 'teasers'?

My partner and I - the most adorable guy in the world - are going to organise at least one tour of 10 days per year of either the west or east part of South-Africa, depending on the demands of recruited tourists - marketing our endevour will soon be launched... Maybe you'll grab the opportunity to experience SA in real life?

Mohan Kumar from UK on August 21, 2012:

What a great trip around some wonderful landscapes and historical details - you've given enough info and populated such glorious pictures that it has already teased my travelling heart. Its one of the places TO DO. I enjoyed taking this road trip with you, liefey.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 21, 2012:

Thank you, Movie Master. During a holiday of 17 days in Holland and a quick tour of Belgium in 1999 I've missed the bare-nature and open spaces of my country - the flats, the bushes, the wilderness between towns and cities. I've noticed in Europe the magnificent creations of mankind - every piece of open ground neatly cultivated, all those majestic buildings built since the 11th century (when the building of wooden houses was prohibited), proving the amazing survival of the human race in spite of fires and plagues, wars and earthquakes, et cetera. Wild (dark) South Africa has been entered for the first time by those 'builders' and 'survivors' but only in 1652. Our landscapes and especially our townships (where most blacks still live in poverty) remind me of what Europe must have looked like before and up to the Middle Ages. We have beautiful cities, i.e. Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, etc., and modern towns in the country with suburbs where the rich live in castle-like houses, the middle-class in ordinary, but beautiful houses and the poor in shacks of all sorts. But most of our country is pure, bare nature with no sign of human interference, where so many wild animals - fauna and flora - are still to be seen in their original habitat.

I hope this series of mine - sight-seeing while en route from town to town - will give you an idea what I am trying to say. I know America still have a lot of open spaces - enormous farms/ranches - but I wonder if there are still towns where development ended during a previous century?

Thank you for clicking in for the read, dear Lesley :)

Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 21, 2012:

I have always felt South Africa would be a place I would love....

I thoroughly enjoyed your tour, what an amazing country.

I love the way you have displayed your photos.

Thank you and voted up.

Best wishes lesley

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 21, 2012:

@ Happyboomernurse

@ Always Exploring

So good to know you enjoyed this hub. Pictures are not all of the best quality, but I consider them efficient in relevance with 'en route'. Because I cannot please my curiosity about a country's nature and atmosphere by looking at smart pictures of impressive buildings and so forth, I present ordinary views in this series, the mundane....

Thank you so much for your lovely, inspiring comments :))

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 20, 2012:

Marti, You are so good at introducing your beautiful country. I continue to learn from you. The pictures are beautiful. I would like nothing more than sunbathing on your beautiful beaches. Maybe a pilot will pick me up one day and we will soar just like before.HaHa..Cheers my Special Friend..

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on August 20, 2012:

What a special tour through the North West Province of South Africa. To me this is an exotic, totally foreign land and your beautiful illustrations and almost poetic writings about it made this cyber visit a rare treat.

I love the "postcard effect" that you created with some of the framed photo groupings.

One thing that struck me is that the photos of the maize and sunflower fields bear a striking resemblence to some of the flat, farmlands that abound in my beloved state of Delaware, USA.

Thanks again, for sharing this wonderful information.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Lol, marcoujor! Oh, let me just be a little funny - making you tie up your hair in 2 pony-tails above your ears... making you a true vixen of a kind.... (Pondering.... lol!) You can be the owner of a profitable game farm... and so on and so forth until you live happily for ever after :))

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on August 20, 2012:

I love barefootin...but flatties it is!

OK, we shall dream for now... just make me pretty in that story of yours, Sista! No funny stuff... :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Hi my dear, Marcoujor. Boy oh boy, would we have fun in the bushveld - actually all over the country. Well, out in the country you will not need your high-heels, so pack a couple of flatties - comfortable walking shoes with many air holes... Barefoot walking is, of course, the thing to do, but our tender, manicured feet will never be able to meet the demands of Mother Earth. But definitely barefoot on the beaches and on the desert dunes. Yes, we must go to Namibia as well....

Dreams..dreams... dreams... how lovely are they? I feel like making them all come true in a short story. Love you, mar!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on August 20, 2012:

Dear Sista,

These road trips become you in many ways. I am especially appreciative of the 'bird's eye view' I am getting of exquisitely beautiful country.

This will tide me over until the day when you get to show me around. We shall raise glasses of Mampoer as you show me Groot Marico and who knows, we may stumble upon a pigeon blood red African ruby diamond when we swing by Lichtenburg!

What kinda shoes shall I pack? Voted UP and UABI. Looking forward to Part 2... Love, Maria

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Nellieanna, I wonder if you would be able to open this page? Just a lot of pictures :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Nellieanna, let me then surprise you with an entire hub about Namaqualand. Believe me, you will love it. I so wish you could see the phenomenon with your own eyes - the absolute beauty sprouting out of nothing after a cold, dry winter in a semi-desert region - a kind of proof that beauty does not depend on essential life-giving stuff, such as enough water, nourishment, and make it metaphorical - love, wealth.... etc... (I wonder, maybe Tonymac did a hub about Namaqualand. Let me go check :))

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on August 20, 2012:

Dear Martie - Was unable to open the link to the carpet of flowers but the description reminds me of our bluebonnets when they are in bloom in the spring - itis blue flowers for as far as one can see in places. They don't bloom at my ranch but purple sage does - whenever it rains. Awesome.

I am having a lovely Monday. We are enjoying several more moderate days, temperature-wise - a little preview of Fall! It will be very hot again before Fall really arrives but this is soooo nice! Only need A/C during the middle of the days. :-)

Thank you.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Alicia, by reading about other countries we surely enjoy visual holidays in those countries. But you know what, we all have paradises right under our noses, but because it is too near, we rather tour far away places in our urge to get out of our daily rut. I am living a cat spit away from this bushveld-region in my province and I've recently visited it for the first time in my life. Unbelievable! And simply because I never had a reason or an opportunity to go there. Thank you for enjoying this piece of the earth with me :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 20, 2012:

Thank you for this look at South Africa, Martie. I'll be reading your other hubs about this topic too. South Africa is a fascinating place. I would love to visit your country but I probably will never be able to. I will enjoy learning about South Africa by reading your hubs, though!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Hi Mhatter99, thank you for inspiring me to write on :) Much appreciated!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Alastar, yes, that statue is one of our great-great hero's, General Koos de la Rey, who achieved a lot during our struggles to become an independent country during the time of colonialism. This entire area, Alastar, oozes blood, spilled during many-many battles - not only between Boere and British soldiers, but also between tribes and tribes of ages ago. So interesting! But I've decided not to spoil our sight-seeing tour with upsetting information about human's greed for money and power. Let's just enjoy the air, the fields, the trees, the bushes..... the bare basics.....

I hope you'll find this article about Koos de la Rey interesting, Alastar. Oh, if you give me half a change to share my knowledge about my country's history, I will talk your ears right off your head. I get extremely excited about history! Take care, my dear friend :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

mckbirdsbks, so good to know I am broadening your perception of my beautiful country. Please stay tuned for a tour of our most awesome bushveld :) Oh, and please follow suit, I would so like to see the entire world through the eyes of a casual traveler.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Hyphenbird, the more we know about something, the more we can enjoy it, not so? So by the time you come down for a visit, you will feel so 'at home' you will be able to enjoy yourself thoroughly. Save your pennies, Hyphen! My partner and I have decided to organize and guide at least one tour per year of 10 days, but avoiding all outrageous expensive venues and lodging targeting the ignorant tourist who has no idea that he could see and experience SA for half the price. We are so geared for this, equipped with the necessary qualifications and experience. Somehow, I believe this is all meant to be. But will give more information when plan of action is properly set. Thank you so much for your inspiring comment, Brenda!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Nellieanna, when I watch movies, I focus hard on the background in order to determine geographical environments, just for the kick of it....

Oh, I would so enjoy a series like this about Texas presented by YOU. With your sense of art that would be absolutely awesome hubs. I've seen pictures of your ranch at your personal site; I remember SOME of the landscape reminded me of our Karoo, which is a semi-desert region hosting the most awesome fauna and flora, and the most beautiful carpets of flowers during August-September.... Namaqualand ~~~ I have found this painting of a carpet of flowers over there, but believe me, in real life it looks much more beautiful. Breath-taking! I'll do a hub about Namaqualand soon.... (I hope HP will allow this picture I want you to see.)

Have a great Monday, my dearest Nellieanna!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 19, 2012:

Faith Reaper, I am working (and playing) in CyberSpace for 2,5 years now, and still can't believe how little most American and Europeans know about Africa and in particularly about South Africa. Of course, to blame on the Media always reporting only what they regard as NEWS, which is nothing else but sensational and shocking sporadic events. Yes, Africa do have many domestic issues, like any other country on this planet, and not even more or less. I have also noticed, while studying history, that countries take turns to experience real bad times. What may look like a paradise of a country today, could look ten years from now like a ruin. I LOVE promoting my beautiful country as much as I hate all wrong-doings of people in my country. I appreciate your interest in SA with all my heart :)

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 19, 2012:

Thank you for this interesting tour and great pics.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on August 19, 2012:

You've published a marvelous travelogue hub here, Martie. South Africa has so much to offer and your a grand presenter of it. Reading and viewing this reminded of the best of Nat Geo articles I used to devour as a student. Is that a statue of a Boer in Lichtenburg?

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on August 19, 2012:

You are completely shattering my sterotype mindset of what South Africa looks like. Beautiful in every way. And in some ways it reminds me of the Southwest in America.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on August 19, 2012:

You help us all to know your beautiful and amazing country better. Every time I see one of these Hubs I get excited to open it. Your love of Africa shines forth strong and through you the rest of the world loves it also. i love this one very much and thank you for opening my eyes to your world.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on August 19, 2012:

Dear Martie - we have no bushvelds by that name, of course. That describes the native flora and fauna of South Africa, but we have similar kinds of geography with its own flora and fauna. Actually Texas has about five distinct and different regions.

My West Texas land has unimpeded distant view and Mother always encouraged me to both rest & strengthen my weak eyes by gazing into the distances! How about that?

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 19, 2012:

Very informative and interesting for sure! There is a lot to South Africa that I had not known until now. Thanks for the awesome hub. Looking forward to Part Two. Great write. In His Love, Faith Reaper

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 19, 2012:

Hi, my dear Lucky Cats, I thought readers would find picture tours of SA - or any other country - interesting. But not only pictures of impressive buildings, but of the ordinary stuff one sees while traveling from town to town. I LOVE my country, and especially its history. Though I don't provide all history; I try to focus on geography, the basics. I would so enjoy similar hubs about other countries, so why not follow me, Kathy. Seeing Kansas and California through your eyes in a hub would be an awesome experience for me. Thank you so much for your inspiring comment.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 19, 2012:

Nellieanna, they say our North West Province is comparable to Texas. Part 2 and 3 will be all about our bushveld. I wonder, do you have bushvelds too? Landscapes fascinates me, even the most boring. Flats enable us to look far to the far-away horizon. Doing this relieves my stress more effectively than looking at the sky or stars. So good to see you, Nellieanna!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on August 19, 2012:

Thank you, writer20! Part 2 will be published by Monday evening. Always nice to see you in my corner!

Kathy from Independence, Kansas on August 19, 2012:

Martie...beautiful~! Replete with so much rich information, beautiful photographs of fantastic scenery...animals! Oh, how I love the native wildlife! Coligny looks like SE Kansas or interior California! So full of history! Geography! (You've got Suflowers and Willows!!!) and a tour de force by one who, obviously, loves her homeland. I feel as if I've just come home from an enlightening, breath taking, gorgeous trip across from my home to an entirely new world All ups for you, my dear...(well, I'm not hitting funny!) Love ya. Kathy

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on August 19, 2012:

Amazing hub, Martie. Can you believe that there are some similarities with Texas and its various regions! I've heard of some of these names in your hubs and in Tony's - it's a treat to actually see pictures and hear more about them! Well done!

Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on August 19, 2012:

This is informative with great pictures. Looking to your next piece.

Voted up, awesome and very interesting, Joyce.

Related Articles