A Brief Overview
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.