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City Overview
 
 

Sabie

 
 

The small town of Sabie is nestled in the North Eastern Drakensberg Escarpment of the Mpumalanga province in South Africa. It is easily accessible from Gauteng and approximately four hour's drive from OR Thambo International Airport and 64km from the province's capital, Nelspruit. Since Sabie is centrally located on the Panorama Route, there are various ways to reach this historic town.

From the SOUTH: R37 (via Nelspruit) - This scenic drive will lead you past the small farming communities of Brondal, Rosehaugh and Hendriksdal as well as some of the largest Pine and Eucalyptus plantations. -Exit Nelspruit to the North by taking the R40 to White River. Then take the R37 to Lydenburg (Mashishing). - When traveling on the N4, take the Mataffin directional interchange turn off. This will connect to the R37 to Lydenburg (Mashishing).

R40 (via White River) - The views on this route will include grasslands, tree ferns, plantations and, nearing Sabie, a view of the Sabie River Valley to the east. - When traveling on the N4, take the Mataffin directional interchange turn off. Follow this road past 'Ilanga Mall towards the central business district. Take the R40 to White River. Before entering the town of White River, take the left turn off and follow the R537 to Sabie.

From the EAST: R536 (via Hazyview) - This 44km stretch of road shadow the Sabie River, and will introduce the traveler to the home of the famous Sabie River Valley Coffee which is situated at the confluence of the Sabie, Sabaan and Mac Mac rivers. From the NORTH: R532 (via Graskop) - The popular town of Graskop lies approximately 28km from Sabie to the North. From the WEST: R37 (via Lydenburg / Mashishing) - The mining community of Lydenburg (Mashishing) is situated approximately 56km from Sabie to the West. The Long Tom pass will take the traveler on a descent of more than a thousand meters to reach the quaint timber village of Sabie.

 

The history of Sabie

Names such as Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, Sir Herbert Baker and Chief Lesisi line the pages of the town's historic annals, which started as a base camp for hunters and transport riders and grazing for . This quickly changed when HT Glynn hit a rock while target shooting with some friends. In 1871 a diverging bullet revealed a rich gold reef, and soon the gold rush of the first commercial gold extraction had found its way to the farm Grootfontein.
 
While the gold that was produced secured wealth, the extraction thereof consumed much of the natural forest of the surrounding area.  In 1876, the son of Maria Shires, Joseph Brooks Shires planted the first commercial Eucalyptus and Wattle plantations on his farm Onverwacht (now Brooklands) to supply the demand for firewood and mining struts. 
 
By 1924 Sabie was proclaimed a village council, and HT Glynn served as chairman for the first health committee. 
 
It was during the Great Depression (1929 - 1934), that the government subsidised the afforestation efforts in the area and thereby provided employment to the local farmers who were overwhelmed by a 14 year drought and financial adversity. 
 
 
And now, long after the departure of the Gold Rush to the Witwatersrand (Gauteng), the trees bare testimony of bygone years.  Forestry is and will remain deeply rooted in the history and future of this town. 
 
 
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