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Region Overview
 
 

Cultural Heartland

 

The Cultural Heartland is famous for the indigenous Ndebele tribes, with their bright multicoloured arts and crafts.



To see these arts and crafts simply visit the following villages: Kwaggafontein, Matibifi, Waterval. While visiting these villages you will be able to learn about the Ndebele tribes and experience the warm African spirit for yourself.

 

Towns

Clewer

Clewer

Clewer is a small town near the Kendal Power Station, surrounded by collieries, mines, the farmstead of Tweefontein and the mountain of Doornrug.

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Kendal

Kendal

Kendal is most well known for being based around the world’s largest coal-fired power station.

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Kranspoort

Kranspoort

Located just 5kms away from the region’s biggest natural landmark and tourist attraction, Loskop Dam, Kraanspoort Vakansiedorp provides holidaymakers and residents alike with the picture perfect bushveld lifestyle ideally situated only 45km away from the amenities of Middelburg. The 1000 hectare estate is a natural haven, home to free roaming game, mountain bike trails and hiking routes, making the town an ideal retreat for any outdoor enthusiast. While the 9-hole golf estate, game drives and close proximity to all the attractions surrounding Loskop Dam, ensure Kraanspoort Vakansiedorp will keep the whole family entertained.

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Marble Hall

Marble Hall

Marble Hall is a small town in the north of the Mpumalanga province, close to the Loskop Dam. It is the agricultural hub of the region, which features extensive irrigation farming in the Loskop Dam floodplains. It is also the residential base for workers at the Marble lime mine, which lends the town its name.

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Middelburg

Middelburg

Founded in 1864 on the farm Sterkfontain, the towns original name was Nasareth and only officially became Middelburg in 1872 due to its central positioning between Gauteng and the gold mining hub of Lydenburg. The town has changed a lot since its early days, although some landmarks like the iconic ‘White Church’ remain. The best view of the town comes from Dorenkop where the town’s three key landmarks, the White Church, Grain Silos and Columbus Plant can be clearly seen.

Yet there is far more to Middelburg than just what’s obvious at a first glance. The town is steeped in Anglo-Boer War, World War Two and South African history. There are three heritage bridges, numerous old churches and town buildings dating back to when the town was first proclaimed. Add places of interest like the house where Louis Trichardt signed the infamous peace treaty between the English and the Boers and the home where the famous folk song ‘Sarie Marais’ was
penned and Middelburg is undeniably a history buff’s dream. The town’s fascinating historical tour is the perfect way to uncover the history that surrounds this town, while the spooky ghost tour will test your nerves.

The town’s cultural heritage is just as impressive and celebrates one of South Africa’s smallest yet most recognisable cultures, the Ndebele. Their brightly painted houses and beautiful beadwork is instantly recognisable and can be enjoyed at the ‘Little Elephant Craft Market’, while for those looking for a more in-depth cultural experience the ‘Something out of Nothing’ Township Tour is not to be missed.

With Loskop Dam, Buffalo Gorge, the Avontuur Valley, Pienaardam and Middelburg Dam on its doorstep, Middelburg is awash with outdoor activities. Whether it is scenic hikes through Loskop country with its breath-taking views, 4x4 adventures that will leave you gripping onto your seat, horse riding safaris and 50m abseil descents or simply a lazy day at the dam, Middelburg is full of adventures to keep the whole family entertained.

With a host of other attractions like ghost tours, prayer ovens and race the train to name a few, Middelburg is a town packed full of fun and wonderful cultural, historical and outdoors adventures. So next time you are travelling between Gauteng and the Kruger Lowveld, be sure make time to stop in Middelburg, “good things come in small packages” so they say, and this town is a testament to that.

Follow the coordinates S25.7684 & E29.4783 to Middelburg situated on the N4 just past eMalahleni Witbank if you are heading from Gauteng. There really is a treasure trove of attractions simply waiting to be explored.

 

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Ogies

Ogies

Ogies is the first major town for those entering Mpumalanga and Cultural Heartlands Region on the N12 from Gauteng. While Ogies is not a typical tourist town, there are still a number of landmarks including the towns two churches that are worth stopping by if you happen to be driving through the town.

The town got its name Ogies, meaning ‘eyes’, from the Ogiesfontein farm that the town was initially built on. A typical mining town, Ogies represents the industry that dominates this region and has drawn people from far afield to the Cultural Heartlands. Now it is better known for being in the centre of the largest electricity producing area in South Africa.

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Rooikraal

Rooikraal

Rooikraal is a farmstead located just outside of the larger town of Groblersdal and has Watervalkloof ravine and the Rooikrall dam within its boundaries.

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Roossenekal

Roossenekal

The small town of Roossenekal is situated between Groblersdal and Lydenburg and falls within the Greater Roossenekal Area - which incorporates the Roossendal, Draaikraal, Tonteldoos, Laersdrif, Staapberg, Wapaaskloof and Rooikraal communities. This rural village is renowned for its endemic yellow arum lilies and an annual Lily Festival is held to celebrate this floral phenomenon. The highest tar road in the country passes the village and the area is unique in that within a radius of about 30 km, two extreme climates are found.

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Stoffberg

Stoffberg

The small agricultural town of Stoffberg is often one of the first towns encountered for those entering Mpumalanga from Limpopo on the R555, R519 or R33. While you can easily drive through the town itself without realising it, the huge grain silo in the centre of Stoffberg is a symbol of the town’s agricultural pedigree. As the town is the trading centre for the Siyabuswa district for mixed farming, cattle, wheat, maize, groundnuts and vegetables.

 

While the town has few amenities, the surrounding area provides beautiful scenic views for those simply driving through, or out for a ‘Sunday drive’ and the ‘Blinkwater Perskombers’ just outside Stoffberg is a lovely stopping point for anyone seeking a spot of lunch or an overnight stay.

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Witbank

Witbank

Witbank was established as a town in 1903 when the rush for coal became greater, the coal mines were built before 1890, the people failed to take the coal to market. The town only began to function properly when the Pretoria/Delagoa Bay railway was built. The town’s name originated from the surrounding white sandstone outcrop where the wagon transport drivers used to stop over at Witbank. Witbank is Afrikaans for “White Ridge”. Recently Witbank’s name was changed
to eMalahleni on the 3 March 2006. The name is a wonderful reflection of the town coal mining history as it means the “place of coal”.

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