The quaint little village of Ohrigstad is the oldest town on the Panorama Route and it can be found nestled in a valley at the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, close to the Blyde River Canyon. It was founded by Andries Hendrik Potgieter, the well-known “Voortrekker”, in 1845.
Ohrigstad has stunning natural scenery and a tranquil environment just perfect for a weekend getaway. Life here is totally relaxed and peaceful and the style is unique, from the art and décor to the accommodation and handmade crafts. The town and its surroundings offer many activities such as fly-fishing, game watching, hiking and bird watching.
Ohrigstad offers a tranquil escape to vast game-strewn ranches and long vistas. In the area lie caves and mountains, dams and rivers, brooks and streams. It is truly a nature-lover’s paradise..
There is a wide variety of accommodation to choose from B & B’s, Guesthouses and game lodges to camping and caravan sites.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Echo Caves
- Abel Erasmus Pass
- Bourke’s Luck Potholes
- Gods Window
- Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve
- Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve
- Kruger National Park
- Alpha Omega Caves
- Pilgrim’s Rest
Rainfall occurs mainly in the mid-summer months, with December and January seeing the highest levels.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 25˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 19˚C.
There are daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town into the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mombela (Nelspruit). Car rental companies are available for easy access to the surrounding areas with Ohrigstad just under 2 hours away along the R37 and R36. Road trips from Johannesburg to Ohrigstad on the N12 will take approximately 4 hours.
November – Lydenburg Art Exhibition: Held annually in the Lydenburg Civic Centre where local artists can promote their work
Relics of the Iron Age and Stone Age have been found in the area and they indicate that the Pedi (Northern Sotho) and San people lived here thousands of years ago. The town however, was only founded in 1845 by Andries Hendrik Potgieter.
In 1843 Andries Hendrik Potgieter rode from Potchefstroom to Lourenco Marques, where the cargo shipBrazilia had arrived from Holland with gifts for the Voortrekkers, sent by a merchant named George Ohrig. On the ship Potgieter was told of a new British law, the Cape of Good Hope Punishment Bill, which extended British authority northwards to latitude 25 degrees south. This was a great blow to the Voortrekkers because it included Potchefstroom and a good part of the Transvaal.
Potgieter immediately decided to move north to establish a new town which would be closer to Lourenco Marques and in 1845 he led his followers to this area and a town was laid out with a fort, water furrows and broad streets. It was named Andries-Ohrigstad, a combination of the first name of Potgieter and the surname of Ohrig - and eventually abbreviated to Ohrigstad.
Sadly the town was plagued by malaria mosquitoes and the town was abandoned in 1848. The modern town of Ohrigstad was established in 1923 south-west of the site of the old town whose ruins can still be seen. The valley is covered with tobacco, sunflowers, maize, vegetables and orchards of yellow peaches.
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