Just the place to take a well earned brake only an hour from Joburg, Pretoria & Sun City. Luxurious bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, pre-selected Dstv channels & own patio in riverside forest. Birds galore, fireflies and stars night. Quiet walks along the 1,5Km river banks. In close proximity to sterfontein world heritage site and many other places of natural and historic interest. Large shady trees, rolling lawns, swimming pools.
These mountains were once called the Kashan mountains but changed to the Magaliesberg named after the Tswana chief Magali who ruled his tribe at the same time white pioneers ventured into this wonderful part of the world with a beauty of its own. In the 1850's and early nineteenth century, early explorers like David Livingstone and William Cornwallis Harris interned this part of the world and made contact with some of the tribes that occupied this area.
Around 1822, Shaka sent his favorite captain, Mzilikazi, to subdue the Sotho tribes in the area. After conquering the Sotho tribes, Mzilikazi decided to break away from Shaka and the Zulu tribe and create his own clan (khumalo or elephant clan). Fearing an attack from Shaka he fled and settled in these regions.
Mzilikazi's impi's left behind them, a path of destruction while consolidating the Matabele nation. Neighboring tribes were living in trees in fear of their lives. After a number of "Boers" trek parties had been slaughtered by Mzilikazi's impi's the Boer trek parties, led by Hendrik Potgieter and Gert Maritz, warded off a series of attacks by the Matabeles and drove them north across the Limpopo River.
Mzilikazi later reestablished his kingdom at Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The Boers settled in the valleys of the Magaliesberg and turned it into some of the most productive farms in South Africa.
The second Anglo-Boer war brought its own pressures to this area. The Boers who were very familiar with the mountains, used secret pathways to cross the mountains and launch guerrilla attacks on the British soldiers.
The English forces built blockhouses to restrict the movement of the Boer commandos. Ruins of these blockhouses are still visible on the top of the mountain. When standing on the crest of the mountain one can understand why lookout points were positioned on these spots, because one can view miles ahead.
Occupation of the Magaliesburg was of great importance to the Boer and English forces, especially routes between Pretoria and Rustenburg that crossed the Magaliesberg Mountains through two alternate routes, Silkaatsnek and Kommandonek. Because of this, many great battles were fought and lives were lost in battles like the battle of Buffelspoort, Nooitgedacht, Olifantsnek etc.
The mountains were a severe testing of military skills and the Magaliesberg war was dominated by the Boer leaders like De la Ray, De Wet, Beyers, Smuts and Kemp who were experts in guerrilla leadership. Although many of the farms lay in ruins after the Second Anglo-Boer war, the natural beauty of the Magaliesberg was unscarred and still breathtaking as always.
After the war, farms were built-up again and were in full production a year or two later and were particularly successful in crops like tobacco and citrus.
Magaliesberg is on the north west boundary of Gauteng, situated where the R24 (to/from Rustenburg and Sun City) meets the R509 (to/from Mmabatho and Botswana). Some of its green roofed buildings date back to the late 1800's, with quaint architecture and interesting character.
While ethnic art and craft prevails, modern influences have introduced modifications and entirely new art forms which can be found at a number of roadside vendors, gift shops and curio outlets in the Village.
The farm on which the Centre is situated was right in the middle of the Boer War action as the British advanced on Pretoria. If you are interested in history, you may want to visit the graves in the southwest of the estate, the uitspan field in the north where early trekker settlers gathered for nagmaal, or gaze at the White Stinkwood and Karee trees under which some locals believe are buried the Kruger millions.