- Eastern Cape
- Middelburg (EC)
Venue for the Karoo Mighty Men Conference (KMMC)
Middelburg in the Eastern Cape is situated halfway between both, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth. The R56 Route is the shortest road trip between these provinces making the small Karoo towns popular stopover locations for travellers.
Lying in the heart of the Great Karoo, surrounded by mountains, Middelburg is unique yet similar to the average Karoo town. It lies in the centre of a circle formed by five other similar Karoo towns, all approximately 100 km from Middleburg. The five surrounding towns, Graaff-Reinet, Cradock, Steynsberg, Colesberg, Richmond and Hanover, are all towns well worth a quick visit.
The town is similar to others in the area, Middelburg locals leave their doors open where neighbours can pop in without an invitation.
Middelburg’s main asset is its scenic beauty beyond description, with wide open spaces, breathtaking sunsets, starry nights and in the winter, snow-capped mountains. The area is known for its natural plant life and the Mountain Zebra Park, just outside of neighbouring town Cradock, is one of the main attractions in these parts. The Park is home to over 20 breeding pairs of black eagles as well as Cape Mountain Zebra, Black Rhino and Buffalo.
The area is also steeped in Anglo-Boer War history and offers various historic old buildings to visit and photograph.
Accommodation can be found in the form of quaint B&B’s, Guest Houses, Self-catering chalets, Lodges, a Country Inn, Farm Stays as well as a camping and caravan park.
Things to do and see
- The Mayor's Garden
- Dutch Reformed Church
- Town Hall
- Methodist Church
- Middelburg Cultural & Historic Museum
- Burger Monument
- Wall of Remembrance
- Warden House
- Persies Grave
- Grootfontein College of Agriculture, Officers Mess & Graveyards
- PW Vorster Museum
- Van Reenen Street Cemetery
- Stoel (Chair) Monument - Ouberg Koppie
- Valley of Desolation
- Tubby at Baauwater, 44 km away
- James Kitching Fossel Exploration Centre, 60 km away
Rainfall occurs in the mid-summer months, with February and March seeing the highest levels.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 31˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 15˚C.
There are daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town into Bram Fischer International Airport in Bloemfontein. Middelburg is approximately 325 km away and car rental companies are located at the Airport. Middelburg can also be reached along the N1 from Johannesburg, approximately 718 km, or Cape Town, approximately 770 km.
Festivals & Events
April/May - Karoo Mighty Men Conference (KMMC): Inspired by Angus Buchan's Mighty Men Conferences at his farm Shalom in Natal, the Karoo Mighty Men Conference have been established on the farm, Renosterfontein, just outside of Middelburg and usually hosts many different speakers including Angus Buchan.
October – Richmond Booktown Festival: A literary book and film festival taking place over 3 days in the neighboring town of Richmond.
In 1852 it was decided to establish a town midway between Graaff-Reinet and Colesburg on the road to the north and thus received its name due to its location.
The town itself and surrounding areas are rich in the history of Anglo Boer War. The Grootfontein College of Agriculture was originally established as a military camp and training centre for British troops. The camp housed some 7000 troops as well as their families. The farm was taken over by the Union of South Africa in 1910 and converted into the School of Agriculture it is today.
Middelburg is also the birthplace of the famous playwright, Athol Fugard and was home to some other well-known South African sportsman such as Steven Sykes the Rugby player and Arthur Lennox Ochse the Cricketer.
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