Piet Retief – Thriving Plantations
Surrounded by thriving plantations of bluegum, pine and wattle trees, the picturesque town of Piet Retief in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa was founded in 1883 and named in honor of the prominent Voortrekker leader, Piet Mauritz Retief. While Voortrekkers were the founders of the original village, settlers from other countries, including Germany and Scotland soon came to appreciate the potential of the area and made Piet Retief their home.
Birding enthusiasts will find the area to the southeast of Piet Retief rich in diverse birdlife, while those with a yen to catch some fish will find the dams and rivers in the area well stocked. Hiking trails around Piet Retief area offer nature lovers the option of one to five day hikes through some incredibly beautiful scenery, while those who prefer to take things a little easier can enjoy the scenery from horseback. The Piet Retief Game and Bird Sanctuary as well as the Oribi Conservatory reveal that respect for the natural treasures of the area are a high priority, as is the case throughout Mpumalanga. History devotees will find the 1921 Dutch Reformed Church of interest, as well as the War Memorial which honors those who lost their lives in various historical battles.
Many of the buildings in Piet Retief are of a typical colonial style giving the town an old fashioned and tranquil ambiance, which belies the fact that this little town has all the amenities and conveniences of the modern world. Piet Retief is located near the Swaziland border and is the last stop before heading into KwaZulu Natal and therefore experiences a fair amount of through-traffic with holidaymakers heading off to these destinations, but those who take the time to do so will find that Piet Retief is worth exploring.