A Tiny Ghost Town
Leydsdorp is a former gold rush town situated almost halfway between Tzaneen and Phalaborwa, and only a short distance south-west of Gravelotte. Proclaimed a city in 1890, Leydsdorp became the smallest city in South Africa and was once the capital of the Lowveld.
Once a somewhat thriving mining town, Leydsdorp was virtually abandoned when gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand, and quickly became known as a “Ghost Town”. Today the little town is well positioned, only an hours’ drive from Magoebaskloof and Haenersburg, and surrounded by game farms which means ample game viewing when visiting.
Leydsdorp is a historic town with beautiful old buildings to admire, one being the historic hotel and bar. Despite the hotel undergoing some renovations, it still has a classic feel to it. During your stay you can visit the historical mine shafts and wander through the ghost town. This is a great place for a secluded getaway.
Accommodation options in and around the town are hotel rooms, self-catering units and camping facilities.
Things to do and see
- Historical Game Drives
- Historical Mine Shafts
- President Paul Kruger’s House
- Makalali Private Game Reserve
- Ebenezer Dam
- Game Drives
- Bird Watching
- Hiking & MTB Trails
Leydsdorp receives approximately 953 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 17˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 25˚C.
The history of Leydsdorp started as early as 1870 with the discovery of gold, the extent of which was fully recognized in 1887/8, starting the second gold rush in South Africa. Several mines were opened, thousands of claims were pegged and about 600 prospectors were active in the area.
Leydsdorp was named in honour of President Paul Kruger's secretary of state, Dr William Leyd. Paul Kruger was a keen hunter and visited the area regularly, in fact, he enjoyed it so much that when he had to sign a few important documents that were only allowed to be signed in a city, he proclaimed Leydsdorp an official city on 1 October 1890.
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