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Travel in South Africa - North West Province - Groot Marico

The Groot-Marico (Big-Marico) River

http://www.limpoporak.com/en/river/water+quality/principles/qualitative+water+characteristics.aspx

http://www.limpoporak.com/en/river/water+quality/principles/qualitative+water+characteristics.aspx

Groot Marico Memoirs Restaurant

http://www.internetaccommodation.co.za/town/groot-marico

http://www.internetaccommodation.co.za/town/groot-marico

Traveling to Groot Marico

  1. 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.
  2. Part 2 of this series - South-Africa-North-West-Province-en-route-from-Klerksdorp-to-Groot-Marico-Part-2 - covers the route from Lichtenburg to Groot Marico via Zeerust.
  3. And now, Part 3 - The little town, Groot Marico, where Time apparently came to a standstill in the 19th century.


South Africa comprises several modern cities and towns, many proverbial one-horse-towns and, of course, many ghettos. What makes SA unique - in fact Africa's entire central and southern regions - is her many wide open spaces of unspoilt nature where fauna and flora thrive in abundance. Although largely under the protection of Government and/or private farmers, thousands of wild animals still live and multiply in their natural habitats. The people in SA, all of them on various levels of civilization, are, however, just like all other people in the world.

The World Bank ranked South Africa as an upper-middle income economy, the largest economy in Africa, and the 28th-largest in the world. A quarter of the population is unemployed.

Groot Marico, a charming, old-time town...

© Martie Coetser @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser @ Groot Marico

Groot-Marico

Groot-Marico (Big-Marico) is named after the Groot-Marico River - a tributary of the Limpopo River, which is one of the natural northern borders of South Africa. Between the Groot-Marico River and the Groot-Marico Mountain and a wall built by Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War, is the little town Groot-Marico.

With her streets lined with blue gum trees, her enchanting old houses, available lodging along the river, her 19-century atmosphere and striking African bushveld, Groot-Marico is a haven of rest for people wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Temperatures in the region range from 19.6°C (67.28°F) in June to 30.5°C (86.9°F) in January. July is the coldest month when the mercury drops to 1.1°C on average during the night. Our visit to Groot-Marico was in July - mid-winter. It was warm enough to walk around in shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt.

The economy of Groot-Marico relies on AGRICULTURE - cattle, maize, citrus, fruit and tobacco- MINING - marble, slate and andalusite – and TOURISM. Prospects of large-scale nickel mining are fiercely opposed by the citizens of the region, but apparently in vain.

© Martie Coetser @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser @ Groot Marico

Groot-Marico Information Centre

The big old house in which the Information Centre, an art exhibition and a little book shop (also selling precious second-hand books) are situated, is the original farmhouse on the farm Wonderfontein, on which the town was developed in the mid 1800's.

Steps to Groot Marico's Info Office and Art Factory

© Martie Coetser @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser @ Groot Marico

The original farmhouse of Wonderfontein, now the Info Centre of Groot-Marico

http://www.marico.co.za/Tourist.htm

http://www.marico.co.za/Tourist.htm

Groot-Marico: Interesting facts


In the nearby Enzelsberge (Enzel’s Mountains) are the ruins of Kaditswene – the largest iron-age settlement south of the Limpopo River. In 1820 - before Groot-Marico was established by white farmers - Kaditswene was the homeland of 20 000 Bahurutshe, renowned for their skill as miners, stone masons and smelters of iron and copper.

Groot Marico is the hometown of one of South Africa's best known short story writers, Charles Bosman (1905 – 1951).

Groot-Marico is probably best known for her Mampoer - South-Africa’s exclusive liquor made with any fruit, except grapes, and distilled to an alcohol content of 65 - 75%. (Mampoer made with grapes are called Witblits [White Lightning]). Distillation is collecting vapors from boiling liquid and then condensing them back to liquid form – a technique for purifying liquids. The name ‘mampoer’ has an interesting history available at Groot-Marico’s webpage.

Groot-Marico is famous for her many varieties of wild birds (competing with the farmers for available fruit).

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The Groot-Marico River is considered to be the only unpolluted river in the North West Province.

The origin of the Groot-Marico River, called the The Eye Of Marico, is 17 meters deep and forty meters wide crystal clear water.

In August 1999 proposed monkey hunting in the Skuinsdrift area just north of Groot-Marico caused havoc in the Media. Due to the lack of natural enemies – leopards confined to game reserves - monkeys have multiplied to a point where they started to raid farms in their search for food, destroying crops and bankrupting farmers. More than ten years later, still remembering the over-reaction of Media and Kie, nobody in the region is willing to discuss monkey-business.

Annual events in Groot-Marico are one of the best Mountain Bike Races in the country and the famous annual art festival, including performances of the works of Herman Charles Bosman. Monthly streetmarkets, mountain bike tours, running, swimming, Mampoer tours, Anglo-Boer War battlefield tours, story tours, bird watching and tree identification tours are the order of the day.


UNDER WATER Picture of The Eye of Marico ~ http://showme.co.za/tourism/the-eye-groot-marico-north-west-province/

UNDER WATER Picture of The Eye of Marico ~ http://showme.co.za/tourism/the-eye-groot-marico-north-west-province/

The Eye of the Groot Marico

Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser

Eye of the Groot Marico River © Martie Coetser

The Rooikrans Dam at Groot Marico

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

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

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

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

@ Rooikrans Dam, Groot Marico © Martie Coetser (Spring 2012)

@ Rooikrans Dam, Groot Marico © Martie Coetser (Spring 2012)

Herman Charles Bosman

Groot Marico is the hometown of one of South Africa's best known short story writers, Charles Bosman (1905 – 1951). As a matter of fact Bosman is widely regarded as South Africa's greatest short-story writer. Emphasizing irony and the contradictions in the Afrikaner society, Bosman wrote in Afrikaans as well as in English in a style that reminds the reader of the works of Edgar Alan Poe and Mark Twain.

After graduation, Bosman started his career as a teacher in Groot Marico. The area and its people inspired him to write his best-known short-stories. In 1926, during an argument, Bosman killed his stepbrother. He was sentenced to death and spent four years in prison before his sentence was reduced to ten years hard labor. His semi-autobiographical journal, Cold Stone Jug, is an eye-opener revealing the thoughts and attitudes of prisoners.

After establishing his own printing-press company in Johannesburg, he toured Europe for nine years, spending most of his time in London. He returned to South Africa at the start of the Second World War. One of his most significant endeavors was the translation of Omar Khayyam’s ‘Rubaiyat’ in Afrikaans. Bosman was born in Kuilsrivier on 3 February 1905 and died in Johannesburg on 14 October in 1951.

Charles Bosman: "..... Oh yes, there are two varieties (of leopards) on this side of the Limpopo. The chief difference between them is that the one kind of leopard has got a few more spots on it than the other kind. But when you meet a leopard in the veld, unexpectedly, you seldom trouble to count his spots to find out what kind he belongs to. That is unnecessary. Because, whatever kind of leopard it is that you come across in this way, you only do one kind of running. And that is the fastest kind."

Herman Charles Bosman

Herman Charles Bosman ~ http://storytellersweb.blogspot.com/2009/08/featured-author-herman-charles-bosman.html

Herman Charles Bosman ~ http://storytellersweb.blogspot.com/2009/08/featured-author-herman-charles-bosman.html

House of Charles Bosman (1926)

© Martie Coetser @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser @ Groot Marico

My favorite Charles Bosman stories are –

The Madikwe Game Reserve

http://www.madikwe.com/reserve/madikwe-game-reserve/

http://www.madikwe.com/reserve/madikwe-game-reserve/

In the vicinity of Groot Marico is the Madikwe Game Reserve - one of the largest and most popular reserves in the country. It comprises 70 000 hectares of bushveld hosting cheetahs, wild dogs, lion, hyenas, black and white rhino, giraffe, buffallo, zebra and antelopes.

http://www.madikwe.com/reserve/madikwe-game-reserve/

http://www.madikwe.com/reserve/madikwe-game-reserve/

Feel the rush of wild life in South Africa

Read more about the Eye of the Groot Marico River

From Groot Marico town to an area called UpThe Creek

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ The Creek, Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ The Creek, Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter  @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

© Martie Coetser during mid-winter @ Groot Marico

Groot Marica River during mid-winter © Martie Coetser

Groot Marica River during mid-winter © Martie Coetser

Groot Marico River during mid-winter © Martie Coetser

Groot Marico River during mid-winter © Martie Coetser

More pictures of the Groot Marico region

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

Region: Groot Marico, North West Province, South Africa © Martie Coetser

© Martie Coetser (Between Groot Marico & Zeerust)

© Martie Coetser (Between Groot Marico & Zeerust)

More about the Marico Eye

Traveling in the North West Province of South Africa

© Martie Coetser (September 2012)

Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2012-09-09 18:22:25
Title :: South Africa ~ Groot Marico
Category :: Hub @ HubPages
Fingerprint :: 34ee2f8900884eefecf4594922be7dfe4c1cd0bf75914c3eaa28e135ca49a828
MCN :: CP2L2-PKHVS-FUZHG

Comments

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on February 19, 2014:

Hi Carel, I have done some editing to this article and published a new article all about the Marico Eye. Here is the link - and thank you for inspiring me to write more about this awesome region. https://discover.hubpages.com/travel/The-Eye-of-th...

Carel van Rooyen on February 10, 2014:

Then this could be the place that my mother had in mind. Keep up the good work!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on February 09, 2014:

Carel, I will update this hub on the 20th with pictures of the eye, and also with the location of this dam. It's about 2km downstream from the eye. Unspoilt nature! I love this valley :)

Carel van Rooyen on February 08, 2014:

Your response is quick! No, I'm not exactly sure where that dam is. Some way downstream from the eye is an area that my mother says is called "die lyste". But I'm not sure at all if this is it.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on February 08, 2014:

Hi Carel - my pictures of the Eye itself are lost. Going to shoot some this coming weekend. I have corrected the caption of those photos of the dam in the creek. Does it have a name?

I have also added a link to the blog of your cousin's husband - http://www.marico-oog.co.za/html/Gallery.html

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on February 08, 2014:

Hi Carl, thanks for your visit. Oh, i just saw i have posted only pictures of the creek. Let me update this hub witout delay. Thanks a lot for your informative comment. Much appreciated. Mooi loop!

Carel van Rooyen on February 08, 2014:

Hi, Martie, nice site. My mother grew up about 20 km south of Groot Marico in the most beautiful part of the world. She and my brother still have the farm and we go there yearly. You just made a caption mistake with the eye of Marico: Those are not the Marico eye, but could be further down. The Marico eye lies upstream on the farm where my mother's cousin grew up, and the cousin's husband is currently running the operation. It's about 7 km from my mother's farm. This is their website: www.marico-oog.co.za .

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on May 30, 2013:

Hi Gypsy! It is amazing to feel oneself unwind in unspoiled nature like this. Here, by merely breathing, it takes less than an hour for me to get rid of stress. I can literally feel how it leaves my body. Living in a relatively large town, I need to escape from time to time to a place like this, even only for 24 hours. And how I wish I could live permanently in this woods, writing full-time. Good to know you would like to visit one day. I will be your tour guide, taking you on the off-beaten road :)

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on May 30, 2013:

Martie I didn't see my name. Guess this one got away from me. I sure looks like a wonderful place to relax and loose all the stress. Wouldn't mind visiting one day. Terrific pics. Passing this on it deserves a new pearltree Traveling.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on May 15, 2013:

Mr B - Have I told you lately that you have the brightest ideas and the most beautiful personality? Mwah! Love you!

Mr B on May 15, 2013:

My dearest Bokkie, it has been 7months....... I think we need anotherphoro shoot in the Marico don't you??????

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on October 16, 2012:

Frogfish, that video is quite long, but worthy to watch if you really want to know what it it is like to spend time in our game reserves, observing all those gorgeous animals. Of course, the music you will not hear, only the sounds of nature. I love spending time in bare nature. Nature always restore my original 'settings'. I am proud of my country and hope to destroy all misconceptions aroused by negative media reports of worldwide problems we, too, have to solve. Thanks for your support.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on October 15, 2012:

You have some great photos of beautiful places. Your pictures and descriptions were quite interesting. Didn't watch all the video, but want to come back sometime for all those amagnificent animals. You have presented an intriguing image of your South Africa. Thank you so much.

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

I will drop the entire folder, Mar, next time I go for a swim in the eye with Mr.B.... :))

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 22, 2012:

Sista,

I would quickly replace those memories in your TBFF with the gloriously heavenly pictures of the Eye of Marico...thank you for sharing this morning.

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

marcoujor, I remember a day I had to deal with both intolerabilities at the same time. The memory is filed in my TBFF - (To-be-Forgotten-Folder).

I just added more pictures of the Eye of Marico, taken 3 days ago.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 21, 2012:

Vanity, thy name is M & M...

Nothing makes my blood boil more than being with a flaccid chauvinist whilst my feet are sore from tight soles...! You really are my Sista, Sista!

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

My dearest Mr. B, to mention only the tangible, it would be uncomfortable shoes and chauvinists... (Thank you for not being a chauvinist!) Mwah x 10 :)

Mr. B on September 19, 2012:

And what are the other two my sweet Bokkie? Lol

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on September 18, 2012:

Lol, marcoujor! There's only one, two, no three things in this world I cannot cope with. One of them is an old, flaccid, squeaky mattress... :}

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 18, 2012:

You sweet thang, I would not have guessed but I am impressed!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on September 18, 2012:

My dear marcoujor, at the end of the day we've decided to overnight in another cottage just a couple of yards away from the one in the picture. And guess why? Because the 'other one' was just upgraded with a brand new double bed. Lol! Just saying......