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Open Africa

Kamoka Route


Attractions

King Mayitjha III Kraal
The Royal Kraal of King Mayitjha is where one can learn more about the Ndebele people. King Mayitjha II was instrumental...

Simunye Corner House
Lidiwe actually does not do any specific activity to speak of, but one day in 2000 a group of 14 ladies, unhappy with th...


Features

   Accommodation

Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Bon Amanzi
Situated on the banks of the Steelpoort River, Bon Amanzi is a lodge at which to relax in a natural environment. The sur...

Bushfellows Game Lodge
Bushfellows is the realization of one couple's dream to create an ecologically sound and biologically diverse game ranch...

El Palmar Guesthouse
El Palmar Guesthouse is situated in Groblersdal, Mpumalanga and was founded in the mixture of African and Cuban Cultures...

Forest Dawn Lodge
Forest Dawn can accommodate 12 people in a large country house, situated in a fertile valley overlooking trout dams and...

Kingdoms Lodge
The name was derived from a visit to Zimbabwe where the owner got excellent service from the Kingdoms Palace.  Thei...

La Ronel Guesthouse
Farm style accommodation is available on this peaceful farm situated along the main road in the Roossenekal district. Th...

Lion's Guesthouse
Lion's Guesthouse is situated on a 4800mm² property in Groblersdal, but its huge garden gives it a true lodge feeli...

Marula Game Lodge
Accommodation consists of six chalets, sleeping 2-4 persons each, either self-catering, bed and breakfast, or dinner bed...

Moos Rivier Caravan Park
In addition to the caravan park there are also two wooden huts, suitable for backpackers. There are braai (barbeque) fac...

Ngakwethu Guesthouse
Ngakwethu Guesthouse is situated in KwaMhlanga and can accommodate up to 18 people nightly. The establishment is ow...

Phahla's Guesthouse
The business started in 2004 due to a need from accommodation in the area. Thabana is a cultural village, so there is a...

Pure Joy Game Lodge (Rinkhalskop)
Pure Joy Game Lodge offers you a fully equipped conference centre, luxurious rondavels (en-suite bathroom), dining room,...

The Whitehouse Guesthouse
Located at the town of Marble Hall, The Whitehouse Guesthouse is an ideal resting place for travellers, business people...

Vosrus Guesthouse
This guesthouse offers seven comfortable double bedrooms (all en-suite) including a delicious breakfast, served in...

Wolf's Rock Lodge
This secured lodge just outside Grobblesdal is ideal for small conferences and quiet getaways. It has a beautiful bush c...

Zithabiseni Resort and Conference Centre
Zithabiseni Resort and Conference Centre offers guests an inexpensive alternative to the more formal resort and conferen...

Khethiwe Park
The Khethiwe Park is located at Siyabuswa, the park has a number of chalets, a conference facility, restaurant, pub and...

Sisonke Guesthouse
Sisonke Guesthouse is a small guesthouse which has been operating since August 2006. It has 13 bedrooms and is situated...

Ribbokkloof Guest Farm
Ribbokkloof Guest Farm is situated just 40km from Middleburg. This establishment offers break-away facilities that inclu...

   Activities

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Valley of the Rainbow
Whether a nature lover or sport enthusiast, Valley of the Rainbow Sporting Estate and Nature Reserve is an ‘all ye...

   Arts & Crafts

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Bondesio Arts
The artist Andries JP Bondesio was born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and raised on a tobacco form during the Rhodesian bush wa...

Boutique EMS
Elizabeth, together with other interested members of the community, attended a sewing course in 1991 at the Community Pr...

Francinah Ndimande Ndebele Art Market
Francinah Ndimande is another renowned Ndebele artist who has travelled the world exhibiting her work. Francinah also wo...

Garekopaneng Art and Craft
Recognising the talent that was so abundant among the participants of this project, funding to purchase equipment and th...

Kghodwana Cultural Village
This village depicts the progression in lifestyle of the Amandebele from as early as 1000 years ago. The art and cultur...

Kusaselihle Glass Making
This business sells a variety of glass items. Products for sale: Lampshades; Glass pictures; Stained glass windows...

Liksors Collection
Lindiwe started her business in 2003 making school uniforms for the various schools in the area. She received her sewing...

Opstal Meubels
Opstal Meubels specializes in handmade furniture. Jan du Preez started making pine furniture as a past time hobby for hi...

Sinvusile
Items for sale: Paintings; Trays; Beaded bands; Dolls; and Painted pots. *This participant is a member of the...

Sozama Ndebele Beaded Craft
Items for sale: Variety of ornaments; Keyrings; Placemats; Aprons; Bracelets; and Dolls. *This participant is...

Thenjiwe Beadwork and Art
Items for sale: Beadwork; Traditional dolls; Painted cloths; Necklaces; Bracelets; and Aprons. *This particip...

Tshikaeshele Lisbeth Mohlosane
Working previously as a construction worker (bricklayer), Lisbeth found the work very tiring and also intrusive on her t...

Vukani Project Poverty Alleviation
Started in 1999 with just two people who recognised the need to provide some form of occupation for the ladies in the ar...

Zwelabo Cultural Village
Zwelabo Cultural Village is located in the village called Waterval B under the Municipality of Dr JS Moroka. It is an ol...

Zondi Skhosana Art Gallery
Zondi Skhosana Art Gallery creates an opportunity for artists to work together on a creative level. They are also able t...

Asizakhe Craft Centre
Maria started beadwork at a very young age. Products for sale: Dolls; Beadwork; and Dresses.  *This partic...

Bahlangene Art & Craft Project
This project was started by a group of unemployed women who wanted to create jobs for themselves. Items for sale: Be...

Lethabong Aged Service Centre
This centre facilitates different activities for the aged in the community, for example, gardening, beadwork, making pla...

Achievers Theatre Palace
Achievers Theatre Palace was established in 2004 by the skilled artists of Tsimanyane in Marble Hall.  They attract...

   Environment

Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Ndebele Foundation
Ndebele Foundation was started with the involvement of Francinah Ndimande, a well-known Ndebele artist in the village of...

Verloren Vallei Nature Reserve
Verloren Vallei Nature Reserve was proclaimed to manage and protect the precious and sensitive ecosystem that stores and...

   Food & Drink

Below is a list of restaurants and other food and beverage outlets on this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Khayalethu Restaurant
Khayalethu means 'our home'. Khayalethu Restaurant started in 1999 as a bottle store and thereafter was fully licensed t...

Baleni Catering
Daniel operates a butchery, take-away and restaurant from this centre. He is presently upgrading the eating area to meet...

   Services

Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Asibambisane Farmers Association
Located in the Kwaggafontein Small Industrial Park along the main road from Pretoria to Marble Hall (R573), close to a c...

Bavumile & Sons Shop Fitters
This business produces carpentry items from wood and aluminum. Products include: Wardrobes; Kitchen units; Picture...

Blinkwater Slaghuis
Blinkwater Slaghuis is an Afrikaans name, which translates to ‘shiny water butchery’ in English. Blinkwater...

Boyana Consultancy and Travelling Agency
Boyana Consultant and Travelling Agency (BTCTA) is a tour operating company within the Marble Hall area in Mpumalanga Pr...

Eyethu - Yarona Tours
This business has two active Combi’s (vans), but they are mainly transporting learners from their homes to schools...

Greater Roossenekal Publicity Association
The Greater Roossenekal Publicity Association (GRPA) serves as the local tourism organisation for the Greater Roosseneka...

Lepelle Secondary School
With racial tension running high in the townships in and around Groblersdal and Marble Hall, things came to a head aroun...

Mafato A Bokgwale Catering and Bakery
Mafato A Bokgwale, literally translated, means “the early bird catches the worm” and these ladies rise very...

Paledi and Ntukwana Transport Services
This company was started in 2003 as a security company, but it was realised that a bus was needed in the area. This bus...

Phuti Ya Bokone Health Care
Conrad is a healer working in Doornwagte, Marble Hall. He has opened another surgery in Groblersdal as well. They help a...

Shilela Creche
This crèche was started on the 17th of January 2000 in the temporary house next to Dichoeung General Dealer and L...

Youth Against TB and Aids (YATA)
YATA was started in 2001 by a group of 15 youths who were concerned with the growing spread of Tuberculosis and Aids amo...

 

Overview
Events
History
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Mpumalanga is partially home to the well-known Kruger National Park (KNP) and is best known for its abundant wildlife, unique South African culture such as Ndebele, Pedi, Shangaan and Afrikaners, breathtaking landscapes and mountains. The Kamoka Route covers areas such as Kwamhlanga, Siyabuswa, Greater Marble Hall, Groblersdal, Stoffberg, Roossenekal and other small towns and villages.

The region in which this route is located is known as the Cultural Heartland, which is one of the seven registered tourism regions of Mpumalanga Province. The route lies in what was once called the 'Kwandebele Homeland', which means the area was given to the Ndebele people by the apartheid government in its failed Bantustan policy. Other tribes such as the Pedi, Swazi and Tsonga live in the area, but this route is mainly about the Ndebele people who are dominant in the area. There could not be a better way to unite the people of this region than by the name they chose to be called - Kamoka.

Kamoka Route area is located in a malaria-free region. However, because it is en route to the Kruger National Park in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces, those travelling to the park may be exposed to malaria, so please consult your doctor about the medication you will need to take before and after leaving the park.

Reasons to visit:

Adventure tourism has become a major tourist attraction in Mpumalanga Province. Such adventures include river rafting, microlighting, rock climbing, mountain biking, cycle touring, hunting, canoeing and kayaking, paragliding and 4x4 trails.

This route has some uniquely South African features. The Loopspruit Estate Wines, the northernmost vineyards in South Africa, are on this route. The world renowned Ndebele female artists, who are keeping the Ndebele culture alive, are in this route and the only western church commissioned to be painted in colourful Ndebele colours is in the heart of this route. The famous Ndebele Twin Sisters who were commissioned by British Airways to create a design for the markings on its intercontinental aircraft are from within this route.

The Kruger National Park (KNP) offers a very special environmental experience to visitors, enabling them to observe the interaction of species in this outstanding conservation area, where the Big Five are found. The diverse attractions of the KNP have been enjoyed and explored for the past century after it was created in 1898 by President Paul Kruger to preserve the country’s diminishing wildlife. Expansion over the years has brought the park to its present size and, with the number of tourists increasing annually, amenities and accommodation have been improved to cater for the high standards demanded by travellers abroad and locally.

Roossenekal:

At the Mapoch Caves parking lot there is a bronze statue of Nyabela, erected by the Ndebele people in commemoration of his heroic stand. When the statue was erected in 1970 it was said to be the first statue of a black man in what was claimed to be a white area. The walk up to the caves is quite stiff but visitors are rewarded with splendid views, prolific bird life and an opportunity to view Nyabela’s fortifications.

Famous Ndebele Twin Sisters:

The home and village (Wolvwekraal) of the famous Ndebele twin sisters, Emily and Martha Masanabo, is located in the heart of this route. Their dynamic mural and beadwork designs have drawn attention to an innovative art type that is unique to the Ndebele people, both in the use of vibrant colours and in the boldness of design. These two artists have both been acknowledged for their artistic talent, having been commissioned by British Airways to create a design for the tail markings on one of its Boeing 747 intercontinental jet aircraft.

Loopspruit Estate Wine:

A touch of the Western Cape in Mpumalanga. When one thinks about South Africa’s finest wines, what does one think about? The rustic serenity of green vineyards and elegant thatched gables? Wine tasting with the personal attention of an experienced cellar master?

Loopspruit Estate Wines offers you a touch of Cape viticulture less than an hour’s drive from Gauteng. About 30km north of Bronkhortspruit in the bushveld lie the white, thatched buildings of Loopspruit, South Africa’s most northerly wine estate, where wine has been produced since 1969. The estate is conveniently located across the road next to the Ndebele Cultural Village, where guided tours are provided and a wide variety of traditional Ndebele art as well as beadwork are on sale.

Today the estate boasts 20.5ha of vines that include five white cultivars, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Colombard, Maison Blanc and Muscat de Alexandre; and two red cultivars, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsaut, which yield about 230 tons each year. Loopspruit’s cellar master goes to great lengths to produce wines of the highest quality, in the best tradition of South African viticulture.

Loopspruit is also well known for its Witblits and Mampoer. A glass full of folklore - moonshine, white smoke, or firewater, call it what you may, witblits and mampoer are as much part of African folklore as biltong and waatlemoenkonfyt.

Magoebaskloof Mountain Bike Classic:

When:  7 November 2015

Where:  Stanford Lake College, Waterberg, Capricorn, Vhembe, Mopani & Sekhukhune

Contact Person(s):  Steve Willson - Senior Adventure Facilitator

Tel:  +27 15 276 6130

Cell:  +27 82 637 3651

The Magoesbaskloof Mountain Bike Challenge came about after Gray Braadvedt and Rudi Viljoen sparked the brilliant idea of hosting a mountain biking event in the beautiful surrounding of the Limpopo province, an area spectacular with immaculate scenery and some of the most perfect bike trails within the country. Drawing in the community and opening up gateways to the local tourism and creating helpful benefits to local charities, the first event kicked off with great success. This year the event brings you that same fun and thrill seeking adventure that will lift your spirits in the wind and have you enjoying the sport that you love!

Miss Limpopo 2015 - Beauty Pagent:

When:  12 December, 2015

Where:  Meropa Casino, Waterberg, Capricorn, Vhembe, Mopani & Sekhukhune

Contact Person(s):  Matlakala Bopape - Miss Limpopo Trust Chair

Tel:  +27 15 291 4836

Spring Festival:

When:  19 - 27 September 2015

Where:  Haenertsburg Village, Cheerio Gardens & Magoebaskloof Hotel - Waterberg, Capricorn, Vhembe, Mopani & Sekhukhune

Contact Person(s):  Anne-Marie Brook / Linda Miller 

Cell:  +27 82 883 4449 (Anne-Marie) / +27 82 575 5738 (Linda)

Join us for our annual Spring Festival in Haenertsburg Village, Cheerio Gardens and the Magoebaskloof Hotel. A glorious experience in one of South Africa’s best kept secrets – Haenertsburg / Magoebaskloof.

*Information correct at the time of publication - prospective event participants are advised to contact the organisers for any possible updates.

The Ndebele people:

The Ndebele people of north-west Mpumalanga now live in the area of Denilton. After a century of struggle, they have been granted land on which to re-establish their people, who had been scattered throughout South Africa by war and restrictive legislation. The history of these people has been one of hardship and turmoil as successive waves of foreigners invaded their historic land.

The Ndebele were once part of the Nguni tide that swept the African continent some two millennia ago. In the 17th century King Musi and his followers left their cousins, who later became the mighty Zulu nation, to settle among the low hills of what is presently Pretoria. After Musi's death his two sons, Ndzundza and Manala, quarrelled over the chieftainship and the Ndebele split into two clans. Manala headed northwards towards Pietersburg (now Polokwane) and was largely assimilated by the Pedi people. Ndzundza headed east and later south and this branch has remained distinctly Ndebele and culturally independent of its neighbours.

When Zulu chief Mzilikazi was driven out of Zululand by Shaka, he decimated both the Ndzundza and Manala clans as he passed through the area on his way to establish a kingdom at Bulawayo in southern Zimbabwe. This caused the Nzdundza clan to regroup under chief Mabhoko near the Mapoch Caves in the Roossenekal district.

During the early 1840s an increasing number of Boer farmers arrived to settle the area, which in turn led to strife and conflict with the Ndebele. Chief Mabhoko was a dynamic leader who was determined to defend both his rights and his lands. When the Boers refused to vacate his tribal lands and return to their former position south of the Vaal River, armed conflict ensued. Both Boer farmers and their northern neighbours hounded the Ndebele, the Pedi, in a low level war that lasted until 1882. 

When the Pedi chief Sekhukhune was murdered in 1882, the balance of power in the region changed and the Boers under Commandant General Piet Joubert's commando launched persistent attacks. For eight months the Ndebele under chief Nyabela held out in subterranean tunnels in their mountain stronghold at Mapoch’s Caves. The Boers laid siege to the Ndebele at these caves. The Boers were finally able to enforce the surrender of Nyabela, who was then imprisoned for life. The tribal lands were confiscated and the Ndebele people were forced to work on white-owned farms. 

The plight of the Ndebele came to the attention of the authorities in 1965. Simon Skhosana and KM Mtsweni, both leaders of the Ndebele, worked tirelessly to bring together the chiefs and headmen under a common banner. As a result, Denilton was declared the Ndebele Homeland in 1972. However, in 1994 the Kwandebele government was later disbanded after the first democratic elections in South Africa and the homeland was officially incorporated into the Mpumalanga Province. 

Today the bronze sculpture of chief Nyabela stands outside the Mapoch Caves to remind the descendants of this brave and proud people of their turbulent past. As a historical site the caves have been declared a National Heritage Monument.

Roosenekal:

This small town derives its name from two soldiers, Roos and Senekal, who lost their lives during the so-called Mapoch War between the ZAR government and Chief Nyabela of the Ndzundza-Mabhoko Ndebele tribe, which at the time occupied the Erholweni area - better known as the Mapoch Caves. The war ensued when the Republican forces under Commandant General Piet Joubert attacked Nyabela, who had asserted independence from the government and refused to co-operate with it in delivering the fugitive Mampuru, a member of the Pedi Royal family, who had allegedly murdered his half-brother Sekhukhune. In July 1883 Nyabela eventually extradited Mampuru and he himself surrendered. Mampuru was sentenced to death and Nyabela received a life sentence. Nyabela’s tribe was ejected from their homeland and the area allotted to white people. 

Greater Marble Hall:

In 1913, a Pretoria hunter, Christoffel Visagie, took his wife and family on a hunting expedition into the far north. Along the way his youngest son and his father both contracted a high fever and died. They were buried where Marble Hall now stands. When 'Oom Stoffel' also contracted the fever, his wife, Maria, decided to turn back to Pretoria. On the return journey Maria noticed some white stones that she thought might make suitable gravestones for her son and father-in-law and so loaded them on the wagons and took them back with her to Pretoria.

Oom Stoffel soon recovered and he and his wife took the stones they had found to a stone mason who declared them to be first class marble. Together with the stonemason, Tom Taylor, the Visagies returned to where the stones were found and so Marble Hall was born. In 1929 the Marble Lime Company was formed to mine the marble and today Marble Hall marble graces the Johannesburg Park Station, the Cape Town main post office and SA House in London to name but a few. 

Mapoch Mine, The Environmentally Friendly Mine:

Mapoch Mine is found in the area of Roossenekal and Steelpoort in the north-east of Mpumalanga Province. Mapoch Mine is a division of Highveld Steel and Vanadium Corporation. It mines approximately 2.8 million tons of vanadium-bearing titaniferous magnetite ore per annum. The corporation’s steelworks and vanadium chemical works in Witbank use the product. Mining is done on the surface and by opencast methods Rehabilitation is done concurrently and indigenous trees and grasses are planted. The environmentally friendly approach of the mine distinguishes it from many mines in the country. The mine houses its employees in the village of Roossenekal and it also has a well-established recreation club with a Mashie golf course for its members.

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Open Africa Routes

A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.

South Africa - Mpumalanga

South Africa - Mpumalanga

The region in which this route is located is known as the Cultural Heartland, which is one of the seven registered tourism regions of Mpumalanga province. The general route area is located approximately 100km north-east of Pretoria, South Africa’s capital city situated in Gauteng, which is the smallest but richest province in the country.

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Key Contacts

Name:
Burnett Marais

Telephone: Click here

Name:
Elias Mohlamonyani

Telephone: Click here

Tags

culture ndebele mpumalanga ndebele-twin-sisters roossenekal loopspruit-estate-wines arts-and-craft groblersdal birding stoffberg kwamhlanga marble-hall

 

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