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Travel in South Africa - From Pretoria to Harties to Rustenburg to Klerksdorp

Crocodile River at Hartbeespoort

Crocodile River, Hartbeespoort Dam, South Africa

Crocodile River, Hartbeespoort Dam, South Africa

South Africa: From Pretoria to Klerksdorp

Travelling from Pretoria to Klerksdorp (and onward to Cape Town), a motorist has three choices.

  1. If he is in a hurry, he will take the shortest route via Johannesburg on the N1 highway, turning off on the N12 to Kimberley.
  2. If he wants to avoid the very dangerous intersection at Soweto and also Johannesburg's traffic, he will choose the Krugersdorp-Randfontein road in spite of the fact that one has to drive through these two towns instead of passing them on a highway. This is the route we have taken when we came to Pretoria on Friday, and which I have described in my hub 'en route from Klerksdorp to Pretoria'.
  3. If he is in the mood for an alternative route, he will take the N4 Platinum Bakwena Toll Road and approach Klerksdorp via Rustenburg and Ventersdorp - a route that offers a variety of exiting landscapes and venues.

Read on and enjoy pictures and some information of this most scenic region of the North West Province -

Three routes from Pretoria to Klerksdorp and vice versa

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The red circle indicates the region between Pretoria and Klerksdorp in South Africa

South Africa - Focus area: Pretoria to Klerksdorp

South Africa - Focus area: Pretoria to Klerksdorp

Traveling from Pretoria to Klerksdorp and vice versa: Difference of distance and time of three choices -

Calculations was done by GOOGLE MAPS

ChoiceDistanceTime

Choice One

 

 

Pretoria - Johannesburg

69 km

48 min

Johannesburg (passing Soweto and Westonarea) to Potchefstroom

120 km

80 min

Potchefstroom (passing Stilfontein) to Klerksdorp

51 km

40 min

TOTAL

240 km

168 min = 2 h 48 min

Choice Two

 

 

Pretoria - Krugersdorp

75 km

50 min

Krugersdorp via Randfontein to Potchefstroom

107 km

85 min

Potchefstroom to Klerksdorp

51 km

40 min

TOTAL

233 km

175 min = 2 h 55 min

Choice Three

 

 

Pretoria - Rustenburg

129 km

81 min

Rustenburg (passing Derby) to Ventersdorp

106 km

86 min

Ventersdorp - Klerksdorp

80 km

60 min

TOTAL

315 km

227 min = 3 h 47 min

A hartebees (Afrikaans) hartebeest (Dutch)

A hartebees (Afrikaans) hartebeest (Dutch)

Hartbeespoort

Just because we have enough time on our hands we make a little detour to take some pictures of Schoemansville, now better known as Hartbeespoort, or rather Harties, as we locals call this town.

In the 1800's Schoemansville was originally a farm called Hartbeespoort, the property of Generela Hendrik Schoeman. It is a picturesque valley situated on the banks of the Crocodile River and the slopes of the Magaliesberg (mountain). In the late 1800's General Schoeman sold his idea of building a dam to the advantage of the entire farming community to President Paul Kruger of the then Boere Republic of Transvaal, and so the building of the first dam wall began in 1896 - three years before the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War. Unfortunately torrential rain washed the wall away in 1921. After countless other stumble blocks, explained in detail by Willie Meyer in "The Birth of a Township", the Hartbeespoort Dam was built and the town Hartbeespoort founded. Today the town consists of numerous holiday homes and tourist attractions around the dam.

First languages spoken in this region are Afrikaans (46.5%), English (19.3%), Tswana (7.3%), Tsonga (6.2%), Other (20.7%)

NB: A hartbees / hartebees / hartebeest is a large antelope widespread in Africa. It was also the name that was given to the homes of the first European settlers in South Africa.

A hartebees house

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'South Africa Venues' lists 43 things to do in Hartbeespoort, among others, visiting the Dam Snake Park, the Aquarium, the Elephant Sanctuary, the Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary, or doing something exiting in nature like horse riding, rafting, abseiling, or go for a ride in an air balloon, or to the top of the mountain in the Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway - the longest mono-cableway in Africa, or going boat cruise on a luxury pontoon party boat, or do some shopping at the Welwitchia Country Market and have lunch in one of the many coffee shops or restaurants.

Magaliesberg Mountain Range

The Magaliesberg Mountain Range, a stretch of 120 km (± 75 miles) from Pretoria to Rustenburg, are among the oldest mountains in the world. (100 times older than Mount Everest.)

Magaliesberg Mountain Ranges

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Lonmin Marikana Platinum Mine

Back on the N4 again, we pass Marikana Platinum Mine, where 41 mine workers were killed by police during a strike that turned violent in August 2012. This will forever be part of South Africa's history, just like the Battle of Silkaatsnek on 11 July 1900, when, during the second Anglo-Boer War, 23 British troops were killed and an unknown number of Boere. (The name Boere (farmers) was, and still is, the cognomen for Afrikaans-speaking whites in SA.)

Lonmin Marikana Platinum Mine

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South Africa has 9 provinces. North West = purple

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Bojanala Region

This specific region in the North West Province of South Africa is called the Bojanala Region - the most scenic region of the province. Because it is a natural Bushveld, it has a number of game parks. Although smaller than the world-renowned Kruger National Park, they offer wildlife experiences that ranks with the best in Africa. The entire northwest part of this region is a game reserve called Madikwe.

The North West Province is divided in 4 regions. Bojanala = yellow

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By far the best known attractions in this area are the major nature reserves. The Madikwe Game Reserve and Groot-Marico Park are huge reserves north of the Pilanesberg, almost half the size of Belgium. Madikwe hosts all the major plains species, including the Big Five and has the second largest concentration of elephants in South Africa.

The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is one of the most accessible South African game reserves - only one-and-a-half-hour's drive from the Oliver Tambo airport near Johannesburg. It is the fourth largest National Park in South Africa. This malaria-free park perched on the eroded vestiges of an alkaline volcanic crater which formed more than 1300 million years ago - one of only three such craters in the world. The Pilansberg Game Reserve is home to thousands of animals including the Big Five - lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant.

Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve - just 90 minutes from Johannesburg and 30 minutes from Sun City, this nature reserve is dominated by broken bushveld. It is a renowned area for both lovers of fishing and birds, and a lovely space in which to spend a day picnicking, canoeing or just gently idling away the time on the shore of the dam.

The Cradle of Humankind, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, extends over this region.

The entire area bristles with relics from the Stone Age and early middle and late Iron Age. A large number of arts, crafts and curio outlets, are to be seen in this region.

Brits

At the spur of the moment we decide to leave the highway to refresh our memories of Brits.

Brits, founded in 1924 on a farm that was owned by Gert Brits, is a modern developing town surrounded by fragrant citrus groves and strawberry fields.

Popular attractions in the vicinity of Brits are -

  • De Wildt Cheetah Research Centre, specializing in breeding cheetah and other endangered species such as brown hyena, suni, blue duiker and wild dogs;
  • The Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve for bird watchers where 340 bird species have been recorded;
  • A crocodile farm;
  • The Vredesboom (Peace Tree) – a Karee tree under which negotiations between the Boere and the British took place in 1864 during the Transvaal Civil War;
  • Five traditional dwellings, each representing a South African culture: Pedi, Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho and Ndebele;
  • The Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre;
  • Granite Works where the largest diamond saws in the world are used to cut blocks of granite.

In addition to being a center for agriculture, Brits is home to several heavy industries, including a factory of the Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo.

94% of South Africa's platinum comes from the Brits and adjoining Rustenburg districts. Together these two districts produce more platinum than any other single area in the world. In addition, there is also a large vanadium mine.

Brits is also the birthplace of the first cloned animal in Africa.

In the vicinity the tourist will also find the studio gallery of the world renowned sculptor and painter, Jo Roos.

Rainbow Cultural Village at Brits

Rainbow Cultural Village @ Brits

Rainbow Cultural Village @ Brits

Rustenburg (Town of Rest)

The next town on our route is Rustenburg (Place of Rest). Situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg Mountain range, it is one of the fastest growing towns in South Africa. It was established in 1851 as an administrative center for a fertile farming area producing citrus, fruit, tobacco, peanuts, sunflower, seeds, maize, wheat and cattle.

It has a temperate humid subtropical climate - very warm summers (from December to February) and mild winters (from June to August).

This town acts as a service center for many industries, including the agricultural communities surrounding the town, the platinum mining industry and the local manufacturing and product distribution industries. The two largest platinum mines in the world which processes around 70% of the world's platinum are here. The area also produces asbestos, tin, chrome, lead, marble, granite and slate.

Among the first residents of Rustenburg were settlers of Indian origin. One of the first families of Indian origin was the Bhyat family. Fatima Bhayat Street is named after Fatima Bhyat, who arrived in Rustenburg with her husband in 1877.

Rustenburg SkyDiving Club operates every weekend and most Fridays, making use of an Atlas Angel (turbine) aircraft to go 12 000 feet up into the big blue playground in the sky.

First languages spoken in this region are Afrikaans (41.2%), Tswana (27.9%), English (11.9%), Sotho (4.0%), Other (15.0%)


Ski diving at Rustenburg

Ski diving at Rustenburg

Olifantsnek Dam at Rustenburg

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Sun City

Only 47 minutes from Rustenburg are two of South Africa’s most famous, modern and luxurious holiday resorts, namely Sun City and Lost City, offering casinos, the Valley of the Waves, beautiful tropical gardens, and two world-renowned championship golf courses.

In the region of Rustenburg is the German community of Kroondal that traces its origins back to 1857.

Old Lutheran Church in Kroondal

Old Lutheran Church in Kroondal

Derby

The North Province, known as the Platinum Province, can be compared to Texas. It has some of the largest cattle herds in the world. The fertile land in regions like Brits-Rustenburg-Derby-Ventersdorp-Klerksdorp encourages mixed crop farming, especially maize and sunflower. This province is, in fact, the major producer of white maize in the country.

Between Rustenburg en Derby, pastures and crops compel the traveler to think deeply about the essence of rain. The North-West Province is a summer-rainfall region. Temperatures range from 17° to 31 °C (62° to 88 °F) in the summer and from 3° to 21 °C (37° to 70 °F) in the winter. Annual rainfall totals about 360 mm (about 14 in), with almost all of it falling during the summer months between October and April. Although it is by far not as dry as the semi-desert regions in the country, drought is always a threat. Understanding the negative results of the past year's drought is a challenge to be met by a metropolitan like me.

The town Derby is not visible from the main road. Today we decide to make the little detour in order to refresh our memories.

Towards the end of the Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902), this area was the scene for a battle between the Boer forces and a Scottish Calvary Regiment. The graves of the British soldiers who died here may be seen in the Derby's military cemetery. Derby was named after Lord Derby, British secretary of State, and had its origins as a settlement for destitute people.

16 kilometer (17 minutes by car) in a northern direction is a small farming town called Koster, a centre of maize production and other grains, tobacco and citrus fruit. Situated on the watershed between the Orange- and Limpopo Rivers, this town was proclaimed in 1913 and named after Bastiaan Koster, the original farm owner. (Koster is not only a surname in South Africa, but also the Afrikaans word for "bellringer".)

On our way from Derby to Ventersdorp, the bushy and subtropical climate of the Rustenburg-region ends. We are back in the province's more natural grasslands (savanna) biome.

Ventersdorp, South Africa

The next city on our journey from Pretoria to Klerksdorp via Rustenburg is Ventersdorp, another centre of a large agricultural area. The enormous silos, with a two million bag capacity, stand as proof of farming successes. It was originally founded as a Dutch Reformed parish on the farm Roodepoort in 1866.

Near Ventersdorp we’ll find the Eye of the Schoonspruit River, one of many river eyes in the area. The water level stays constant, even during dry seasons. It was from here that the first mineral water was bottled in South Africa, under the label "Schoonspruit".

In a far corner of Ventersdorp’s cemetery is the grave of G. Shaw, an Irish soldier who fought on the side of the Boers during the South African War. He was court-marshaled by the British authorities and executed by firing squad. The site is known as The Grave With Eternal Flowers, as the grave is under a tree which stays in bloom for months.

Some Tswana groups settled in the Ventersdorp region in the mid 18th century, but fled the area in the early 19th century during an invasion by another African group, the Matabele under kingship of Mzilikazi. Most of the Tswana fled southward to the Orange Free State. They later returned only to find that white farmers had dislodged the Matabele and claimed the land along the Schoonspruit River.

The first white people came to the area in 1840, making it one of the first settlements in the old Transvaal Republic. The first farm in the area was called Sterkstroom - (strong flowing stream). The town was established on the farm Roodepoort, property of Mr J.H. Venter. The development of a farming community and the discovery of diamonds in the area, as well as gold that turned out not to be worth mining, attracted many people.

Between 1973 and 1996 Venterdorp was the base of a far-right secessionist political organisation, the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) founded by Eugene Terre'Blanch.

In 1969 Terre'Blanche spent three years in a Rooigrond prison for assaulting a petrol station attendant and for the attempted murder of a black security guard. He was released in June 2004. On April 3, 2010, he was hacked and beaten to death on his Ventersdorp farm, allegedly by two of his employees.

In the region of Ventersdorp is the Swartrand Caves, where the roar of water can be heard from deep within.

Three dams in the region attract anglers and water sport fanatics -

  1. The Elandskuil Dam - only 3 km from Ventersdorp on the road to Klerksdorp;
  2. The Rietspruit Dam - 8 km from Ventersdorp on the road to Klerksdorp
  3. The Klerkskraal Dam - 22 km from Ventersdorp on the road to Krugersdorp.

Ventersdorp offers a variety of attractions and historical sites.

First languages spoken in the Ventersdorp-region are Tswana (71.8%), Afrikaans (11.6%), Xhosa (8.2%), English (1.9%), Other (6.5%)

Thunderstorm between Ventersdorp and Klerksdorp

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Road between Ventersdorp and Klerksdorp!

Road between Ventersdorp and Klerksdorp!

Klerksdorp Dam, also known as the Neser Dam

Klerksdorp Dam

Klerksdorp Dam

Klerksdorp

Klerksdorp - distinct statue representing the main economic resources of the region: The gold mining industry and agriculture

Klerksdorp - distinct statue representing the main economic resources of the region: The gold mining industry and agriculture

Klerksdorp

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N4 Platinum Bakwena Toll Road from Pretoria to Klerksdorp

© 2010 Martie Coetser

Comments

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on October 03, 2016:

I'm glad you enjoyed this tour, randomcreative :)

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 02, 2016:

What an amazing tour! Thanks for sharing!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on July 15, 2014:

Oh, I am so glad you enjoyed this virtual road trip, Peg :) This is what I so like about the Internet - we can see the entire world while sitting on our bums.... :)

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 14, 2014:

This is lovely country and nearly as good as a visit in person. I love the animal photography. Those lions sharing a drink are awesome!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 27, 2012:

Hi Sannel, I know Sandton Square and the hotels in the vicinity, but I have not yet visited a built-in town on the outskirts of Pretoria. I am now curious and will ask around; I would love to visit it. I will come back to you on this. Enjoy the rest of your day :) Oh, and I must say, I enjoy the fun we are having on the music page :)

SanneL from Sweden on March 27, 2012:

Martie, I'm back! When I stayed in South Africa, I stayed in the Michelangelo Hotel on Sandton Square, I don't know if you're familiar with this hotel. However, one day my friend who lives in South Africa took me to this place on the outskirt of Pretoria. This place was just amazing. It's a built-in town, so when you walk there in the middle of the day, you think it's night, looking up at all the stars. Magical! Do you know which place I'm talking about, Martie? I try to remember the name of this place, but I can't for my life remember. . . I hope you can refresh my memory.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 26, 2012:

John, you will certainly not regret a visit to South Africa. The Lost City is a stunning development - a modern version of a primitive Africa. Unfortunately not true nature ~ they even have an artificial sea and beach in there. Lol! Just figure, a miniature sea with waves and all in the middle of the country! In the capacity of a tour leader I will take tourist over there for an hour or three, but I will let them stay in one of the nearby game reserves, in the heart of nature, so they can hear and see the birds and the animals and experience the real South Africa. I hope to see you soon :)))

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 26, 2012:

Tammy, my dear friend, game reserves are probably SA's most popular tourist attraction and certainly worthy to visit. Those waterfalls in the Lowveld (Eastern Transvaal, now known as Mpumalanga) are beautiful, and so are the rest in the country. I love my country and hope for an opportunity to tour from North to South before the end of my days. (In other words, I hope to meet a stinky rich and very attractive pensioner.) Thanks for your visit :))

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 26, 2012:

Oh, I love to see you in my corner, Linda Sunshine... I am glad you enjoyed the trip from Pretoria to Klerksdorp. This is but only an ordinary trip through an ordinary region. South Africa has a variety of climates from sub-tropical to semi-desert and landscapes much more fascinating... I've got to get myself in gear and show you... I so wish I could get all of you here for a tour from A-Z... Thanks for your much appreciated visit... :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on March 26, 2012:

Sannel, you are such a darling. I feel connected to you, and most probably because you have spent some time in South Africa. I plan to write more hubs in this series, but don't ask me when. I so wish I had more time on my hands for writing. Thank you so much for your support :))

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on March 26, 2012:

This is awesome Martie. "Palace of the lost city" is great. I was told by an English couple I met in Tahiti that I should visit S. Africa one days, so it's on my to do list.

Voted up

John

Tammy from North Carolina on March 26, 2012:

Thanks for this presentation. I would love to take a tour of South Africa to see the waterfalls and reserves. Thanks for this glimpse into South Africa. It is just stunning!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 26, 2012:

I enjoyed my virtual journey of South Africa. Only an amazing Ambassador such as yourself could be such a fascinating tour guide. All from the comfort of my home and phone! I love technology! :)

SanneL from Sweden on March 26, 2012:

Another beautiful and interesting hub about South Africa!

This brought back yet some more lovely memories about my trip to your beautiful country. I actually visited Pretoria one day. However, I only went to South Africa four 5 days so I did not have time to see much. Martie, I loved this tour of yours and all the amazing photos. Thank you!:)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on May 15, 2011:

elnavann – I’ve just returned from a journey (Klerksdorp - Rustenburg – Sun City – Pretoria (including zoo) – Centurian – Krugersdorp – Klerksdorp) and was quite impressed with some new developments and also disappointed in municipality-neglects. My curiosity about your project in Bapong burns; I am a lover of projects! Please tell me more (via e-mail).

elnavann from South Africa on May 13, 2011:

Marthie - enjoyed this hub. I am involved in a project in Bapong (between Brits and Rustenburg) but sometimes going on to Swartruggens and futher on to the Botswana border. I love this road and do a lot of my thinking on it.

Thanks

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 10, 2011:

tonymac04 – lol! At the speed HP-notices come flying into my inbox, I know too well how easy a notice disappear in the bottomless pit. Goeie genade, ek kan net nie voorbly om my gunsteling hubbers te lees nie, wat nog van my liewe, lojale vriende. And I’ve got only 5 hours per day for HP, now that my holiday is a mere memory. On top of this I am a babbelkous, I can’t leave short and sweet comments. Honestly, my friend, though I will miss you, I will never hold your absence in the comment sections of one of my hubs against you. So moenie sleg voel nie, hoor?

So far I’ve spent only three long-weekends at Sun-City, two times for Avroy Shlain conferences and one time I’ve won a weekend at the Cabanas. I was in awe of the beautiful tropical gardens. The rest was also awesome... I thought I was in Las Vegas. Had my first experience of gambling and realized that I will easily get addicted to that clattering sound of money falling into a stainless steel bucket. So the second time I took all my horses with me. I prefer, of course, a weekend in nature. You can do a lovely hub of Pilanesberg with those pictures you have. I hope to see it soon. Have a good night rest, my friend. Sien jou weer.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on January 10, 2011:

Hoe op aarde het ek die een misgeloop? En my eie Hubs is daar ook in jou lys. Ek skaam my dood, Martie! Jammer ek het die een nie gesien nie.

You have touched on so many places that I love - there is so much to see and do in North West. The only place I will not go to is Sun City - it is amazing and I have been there but too plastic and commercial for my liking!

Pilanesberg on the other hand is just wonderful. Somewhere I have a whole bunch of photos I took there - must look for them and maybe do a Hub about it - it is so, so beautiful!

Thanks for this great tour.

Love and peace

Tony

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 17, 2010:

rpalulis – Welcome in my corner. I can assure you you will love the Bojanala Region, though our provinces bordering on Mozambique are also remarkable beautiful. You will find our largest nature reserve there, The Kruger National Park. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Only best wishes from me to you.

rpalulis from NY on December 17, 2010:

I have a close friend who lives in Lichinga running an orphanage. I plan on visiting her some day and when I do, I want to make the most of my trip and try to see as much of this beautiful country as I possibly can during the length of my stay. The Bojanala Region sounds like a place I would really enjoy. Thanks.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 10, 2010:

katiem2 – I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this trip from Pretoria to Klerksdorp. If I still had the energy I had two years ago, I would have started a business – taking hubbers on tours through South Africa. Oh, the mere thought thrills me :)))

Katie McMurray from Ohio on December 10, 2010:

Brilliantly done, I so long to visit Africa and South Africa sounds wonderful. Oh my two girls and I would be in such awe of this beautiful place and with all the amazing creatures living there. Very well done indeed you've done South Africa proud. Love and Peace :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 05, 2010:

vietnamvet68 – so nice to have you on board! You are invited to the next adventure :))

vietnamvet68 from New York State on December 05, 2010:

such a lovely trip across Africa and the pictures are so beautiful also. I enjoyed this little adventure thanks for sharing. God Bless

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 04, 2010:

Nell Rose – So nice to see you in my corner! Please stay on the bus for our next road trip :))))

Nell Rose from England on December 04, 2010:

Hi, what a beautiful hub! I loved the tour and the photos were amazing! thank you nell

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 04, 2010:

SilverGenes – I am so thrilled with your prescription “this is more like a personal road trip”, for this is what I’ve aimed to make you feel. You will certainly love our game reserves. Please stay tuned for more road trips in SA.

SilverGenes on December 04, 2010:

Thank you for this incredible road trip! I know very little about South Africa really but you bring it alive in your descriptions and photos. I would love to be able to visit the game preserves!

Meanwhile, like so many others, I am restricted to learning about it vicariously through TV but this is different. This is more like a personal road trip! :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 04, 2010:

Pamela99 – Thank you so much, dear Lady. Your opinion means a lot to me.

Wayne Brown – I know there are beautiful places all over the world, but because my country is so beautiful – the sun is always shining, nature is so awesome, and the majority of people are kind, peaceful and generous - I have in 1994, when we (whites) were all uncertain and afraid of the political changes, decided to stay on with all of the rest and to keep on being proudly South African. It is now 16 years later, and we are still developing in spite of some unacceptable corruption and incapable leaders in our state departments. I’m so glad to know you’ve enjoyed the ride. Take care!

saddlerider1 – Oh yes, those TV-programs are good, especially the ones about animals. I live near a game reserve and a lion park, and two small zoos, and, of course, we are surrounded by farms and even three horse studs. I often flee to the game reserve, with or without company, just to be in the veld, away from ‘civilization’. I’m definitely going to publish more of these ‘en route’ hubs... as time allows. It is so nice to know I pull through your books with flying colors, Saddlerider :)))). (Got to get the eggs you’ve laid now off my buttons before somebody breaks them :)))

Enjoy yours and yourself over there – be happy and contented.

saddlerider1 on December 04, 2010:

Martie thank you for this wonderful journey through your homeland of South Africa, what a picturesque well researched hub you've given us all to enjoy here. Simply breath taking, those pictures are exquisite.

The closest I'm afraid I will ever come to Africa is via the t.v. and all the great documentaries on our History and Discovery channels. Thank goodness for High Definition, one almost feels like we are there.

If I were visiting I would have to make my first stop the game reserves for sure, I love animals and to see them in their natural habitat and up close and a little more personal would be a delight, even though they would be eyeing me over as a snack:0))

You have so many wonderful sites to see and the body of water to make it even more enjoyable to go for a dip and cool off from your heat. Martie you shone here and out did yourself with this beauty, I am truly thankful for sharing a good part of your life and history with us.

The good, the bad and sometimes the ugly, but being the survivor you are, you pull through in my books with flying colors. Big hugs coming your way from this Saddlerider.

I did my chicken dance all over your buttons. Up Up and more Ups....he he he

Wayne Brown from Texas on December 04, 2010:

What an absolutely beautiful country you live in, Martie. You bring out aspects of South Africa that the average person is just not aware of at all. This meshing of ultra modern suburbia with the history and beauty of the outlying landscape and wildlife is fascinating. It appears to be a very interesting place to live with plenty of fun distractions to keep one occupied. Thanks for the tour! WB

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 04, 2010:

Martie, What a wonderful trip and you described things so nicely along with your wonderful pictures. It made me long to travel the same route. Very nicely done.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 04, 2010:

thougtforce – the media has to do what it has to do – broadcasting the sensational bad news as well as the sensational good. And so, if we depend on them for guiding us through any country, we will probably get ourselves a hiding place in the nearest graveyard.... Oh, gosh, no! There we’ll meet dear old Frankenstein. Lol! I’m glad you enjoy these glimps, thoughtforce. I plan to publish a bit more of these, and I wish some other hubbers will copy the idea. It is such a lovely mix of history, geography, botany, etc. etc. And I believe not too heavy loaded with facts.

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on December 04, 2010:

Such a interesting hub, Martie! I have never been to you part of the world, only seen it in the news. But the news mostly show bad things, or leaders or politicians, never such beautiful pictures as in this hub! I enjoyed reading, and to get a glimps of the beautiful nature and towns in South Africa! Thanks for sharing!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 04, 2010:

BobbiRant - I would love road trips like this through your country too. May I dare you to challenge me? You show me yours, and I'll show you mine. LOL! :) Serious! Sleep on the idea :))

BobbiRant from New York on December 04, 2010:

Thank you for the lovely trip, as I will never get to see this beautiful land you live in for real. I love road trips. Wonderful write and lovely pictures.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 03, 2010:

Petra Vlah – Money is the root of all evil... I minimized my daily dosis of “news”, watching only one news bulletin per day, keeping myself updated with only the most important happenings. I’m sick and tired of all disturbing matters – I can do nothing about it, so I try not to hear about it, or see it, or experience it. Of course it is not always possible. Bad news and bad people are very much like hurricanes – it just happens, but fortunately not without ending. Yes, history teaches us that there was and there is and there will always be robbers, murderers, suppressors, manipulators, and all kinds of evil. So let’s sigh, turn our backs on it and focus on uplifting and soul enriching matters.

Of course we should support and encourage the courageous fighters of evil. Don’t think I am not a fighter of evil – when it enters my personal zone, I change into a fearless warrior and will not rest before it is boots and all out of my zone again.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and for giving me the opportunity to share mine. xxx = hugs for you.

Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on December 03, 2010:

I agree Martie,

focusing on beauty and the possitive is what most people should do so we can all live in a better world.

I do understand there are ignorant people who will kill animals, but they are not any worse than the ones who kill for greed and we all know about the ivory trade and the monstrousites that brought about. Not less disturbing is the way South Africa is beeing rubbed of its minerals and precious stones and the working conditions those people are beeng subjected to.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 03, 2010:

epigramman – now how does a woman respond to a kind and charming man like you? Believe me, I am blushing and speechless :)) and quite amazed, because I thought I’ve lost my ability to blush ages ago, and now I’m doing it in this virtual world called HubPages :)) I really don’t know what to write right now, except...

Thank you, Sir, I do (blushingly) appreciate your compliments :))

epigramman on December 03, 2010:

...you are quite a tour guide and this hub is truly a labor of love on your part and so lucky for us to be able to share it .......and of course South Africa just wouldn't be the same without someone as beautiful as you!!!!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 02, 2010:

Petra Vlah – I’ve started this ‘en route’ series with the sole intention to share my personal view of my beloved country. I’m lending my eyes to the reader, and my eyes always tend to see the beauty and the interesting - in nature, people, towns, and whatever. Unfortunately here is ugliness too – like poachers who are killing our rhinos, cutting off their beautiful horns, which are regarded by the primitive and uneducated minds (in the word) as an aphrodisiac. We have corruption on managerial levels, too much poverty and too much crime, et cetera. But I’ve decided to focus on the good and the beautiful. In my little place under the sun I do daily all I possibly can to make room for only the beauty to flourish. If everybody, wherever they are and whatever they do just remove the dirt and the ugly in their personal zones, this country will be a paradise. Thanks for the read and have a lovely day.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 02, 2010:

always exploring – Always always always remember the ‘SOUTH’ when you think about us. South Africa is not like any other country in Africa. It is a modern, developed country – here and there unfortunately not - while 99% of the other countries are struggling to become 2nd World countries. It is important to know that every country in Africa is a world on its own to be recognized with respect or disdain, whatever the case may be. Some countries are indeed nothing but jungles and wild animals, ruled by insane tyrants.

SA does need a lot of development. Many areas that were neglected during Apartheid, which was the political condition from 1984 to 1994, need upgrading, and many of the disadvantaged people still have to be elated and educated. Many of the previous disadvantaged may never get the opportunity to become part of the advantaged, and many of the previous advantaged are battling to keep their heads above the waterline. Our crime rate is extremely high, and there are too many insufficient and unqualified officials occupying top and middle management-positions – they are responsible for unacceptable corruption. But we are remarkably growing.

Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on December 02, 2010:

Martie dear you are our guide to beautiful places; you took us to Pretoria and now you are taking us back. Both trips are just so interesting and the photos so beautiful; it reminds me that I sould get back to work on my serie of hubs about Romania the Beautiful.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on December 02, 2010:

Martie,this is a great educational hub,before i started reading Tony's hubs about africa,i mistakenly thought that Africa was nothing more than jungles and wild animals.Now,i know that it is very beautiful and very modern.Thank you.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 02, 2010:

drbj – A day in a game reserve, or in any kind of ‘natural’ environment, is a soul-cleaning and soul-enriching experience. You will love all the nature reserves in SA. Thanks for the visit in my corner. Take care! Oh, and of course you've got to see me first... :) and I'll invite all the other SA-hubbers to help me roll out the red carpet for you :)

drbj and sherry from south Florida on December 02, 2010:

Excellent descriptions and beautiful photos, Martie. Thank you. If I ever get to your enchanting part of the world, my very first visits will be to the game reserves.

After stopping off to see you, of course.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on December 02, 2010:

Micky Dee – lol! I never had any platinum, so I’ll never be out of it. You see, I prefer gold. Lol! Thanks for the read, Micky. Much appreciated! Enjoy your trips.

Micky Dee on December 02, 2010:

Beautiful trip Martie! You included a lot - even a platinum factory! And I'm completely out of platinum! Thank you Dear.

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