Outdoor and Historical Adventures in Groot Marico

The fascinating Marico District, and the town of Groot Marico, is situated about 200 kilometers from Johannesburg in the North-West Province of South Africa. Well respected South African author Herman Charles Bosman, in his book “Marico Revisted”, had this to say about Marico: “There is no other place I know that is so heavy with atmosphere, so strangely and darkly impregnated with that stuff of life that bears the authentic stamp of South Africa.”

The rustic town of Groot Marico (Big Marico) is in actual fact rather small, but takes its name from the nearby Groot Marico River. Groot Marico is set in beautiful African bushveld and the hospitable townsfolk welcome visitors to enjoy the historical charm of their town. Visitors can get all the information they need on what to see and do in the Marico District from the Information Center in the main street of Groot Marico. The house that the information center is located in – clearly marked with a large “I” – was built during WWII by Italian prisoners of war.

A range of accommodation is available to suit all budgets. Visitors can choose to stay in a luxury guest house, or pitch their tent or park their caravan at one of the many picturesque camping spots. An increasingly popular alternative among visitors is to stay on a working farm and discover what farm life is all about. Choose from one of the seven guest farms in the area and enjoy nature at its best while staying in an authentic farmhouse. Leisurely walks through the trees and along the Groot Marico River, accompanied by a myriad of colorful butterflies and serenaded by an ensemble of bird song, is an unforgettable experience. A hike up the nearby mountain, savoring wild fruits on the way, will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. This is the land where pioneers settled after their long and arduous journey from the coast. Here is where many an Anglo-Boer skirmish took place. This is the bushveld in which Herman Charles Bosman set his famous short stories, telling memorable and amusing tales of the people and the place they called home. Activities to be enjoyed include swimming in the river, canoeing, hiking, birding (more than 430 species to look out for), tree identification and stargazing in the clear night sky.

Tours of the Marico area include the Mampoer Tour (mampoer, also known as witblits, is South Africa’s version of moonshine), which includes a visit to the Art Factory – a community art and crafts initiative – a guided nature outing along the Groot Marico River and a traditional farm lunch accompanied by the reading of one of Herman Charles Bosman’s Marico-based stories. Afternoon tea includes traditional melktert (milk tart) and gemmerbier (ginger beer) at Ouma se Kombuis. Other tours to choose from are the Swartruggens Iron Age Tour, Anglo Boer War Tours and a Traditional Village Tour.

Of course, a trip to the bushveld would not be complete without a game drive and these are available at many of the game farms in the area. Certainly, Marico District and the town of Groot Marico have everything to offer for a genuine South African cultural and bushveld experience.