SAFCOL Forestry Industry Museum
Despite what many may think, the Sabie Forestry industry did not start because of an abundance of trees in the area. Instead it was spurred on by the discovery of gold. Wood was needed to create struts for the mines and the current supply simply wasn’t enough. In order to cater to the need created by these gold mining activities, large numbers of trees were planted around the area. Today the gold mines have ceased to yield their valuable treasures, but the forestry industry continues to thrive. The Forestry Industry Museum is thus dedicated to both the forestry and mining industry.
It all started in 1871 when gold was first discovered roughly 10 kilometers southeast of Sabie. Twenty-four years later the mining operations shifted to the Small Sabie Waterfall where a new deposit of this precious mineral had been found. With this shift in operations, the need for trees became urgent. Before long, so many trees had been planted and were growing successfully that the forests in Sabie also supplied the Witwatersrand Gold Mines with timber. However, the mines had a limited supply of gold, and after many years of successful mining they ceased to operate. The forestry industry turned instead to the commercial production of wood and paper to survive. Today these industries have carried a thriving Sabie Forestry industry through to the twenty-first century.
Upon arriving in Sabie, most people are quick to notice the beautiful Spitskop and Mount Anderson mountains. The town is small, but features great angling and sightseeing opportunities. The Sabie Forestry Museum is one of the town’s main attractions and it documents the history of the timber industry in the area as well as the discovery of gold nearby. The SAFCOL Forest Industry Museum is the only one of its kind on the continent and so is well worth visiting. Other attractions include the Bridal, Lone Creek and Horseshoe Falls which make for excellent photos and scenic walks. So if you visit Sabie, make sure that you stop at the Forestry Industry Museum in South Africa for its one-of-a-kind exhibits.