Mountain of Iron
Thabazimbi is a small town situated almost 130 km equi-distant from Rustenburg, Brits, Bela Bela and Ellisras. It is also within easy reach of Johannesburg and Pretoria, approximately a two-hour drive for city slickers looking for a weekend, or longer holiday, getaway.
The town is set at the feet of the Ysterberg and is surrounded by the Witfonteinrand and Boshofberg with the magnificent Kransberg in the background. Its rugged mountains and relatively unspoilt bush covered plains has slowly been transformed into conservation, game farming and eco-tourism – in fact this part of the Waterberg Region is one of the fastest eco-tourist growth points in the country. Thabazimbi is known for its hunting opportunities, hiking trails and birdwatching.
Thabazimbi is definitely a destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The Marakele Park is only 20 km from the town and is the home of some of the Tuli Elephants – in 1999 these were the elephants that were caught up in controversy involving animal cruelty.
Thabazimbi means "mountain of iron" and the red soil speaks of the enormous treasure of iron and the ore trains are on the move day and night. The mine shaft with a lift that holds 100 men, is one of the largest in Africa.
Thabazimbi is a quiet and peaceful town and offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget from B&B’s, Guesthouses and Game Lodges to self-catering units as well as caravan parks and camping sites.
Things to do and see
- Waterburg Kruin Hiking Trail
- Thaba ‘Nkwe MTB Trail
- Marakele 4X4 Trail
- Mateke 4X4 Trail
- Marakele Animal Sanctuary
- Ben Alberts Nature Reserve
- Waterburg Meander
- Thabazimbi Golf Course
Thabazimbi receives approximately 594 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 32˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 4˚C and 25˚C.
There are daily flights into Lanseria Airport, approximately 195 Km’s away via the R511 and into O R Tambo International Airport approximately 278 Km’s away along the R516 and N1. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Thabazimbi means “mountain of iron” and was so named because of the iron ore reef that was discovered there in 1919 by J H Williams. The mine today boasts one of the largest mining shafts in Africa.
The town was proclaimed in 1953 and made headlines in 2003 as the site of Kamp Staaldraad, the Springboks' infamous training camp prior to the Rugby World Cup. The excesses of Kamp Staaldraad helped lead to an almost complete housecleaning of the upper administrative levels of South African rugby union.
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