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Lydenburg’s name is derived from Dutch meaning "Town of Suffering" which does not reflect on the town’s status today. Founded in 1849 by a group of Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Potgieter, the town became the capital of the Lydenburg Republic which was on the wagon route to the port of Delagoa Bay, now known as Maputo. There is talk of Lydenburg being renamed Mashishing and the town is not suffering in the midst of its success in agriculture (potatoes), mining and fly fishing
Before the town was discovered, something older lurked in Lydenburg. The earliest known forms of African sculpture in southern Africa dating back to AD 400 was found in the area in the late 1950s and this draws many visitors which add to the population of over 81 000 locals.
At the foot of Longtom Pass on the R37, the Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve comprises an area of 2,200 hectare where fauna and flora make the hiking trails worth exploring. The reserve is named in honour of the late Gustav Klingbiel who campaigned to have the area declared as a nature reserve. Lydenburg Waterfall, 16 km north-east of Lydenburg consists of three waterfalls in one and is a breathtaking view. The journey towards this town winds though the 55.6km Long Tom Pass that is one of the highest tarred roads in South Africa and it was named after the Long Tom guns used by the Boers during the Anglo Boer War. The only struggle you will experience in this town may be the accommodation availability during summer.