Mafikeng – Politically Significant Historical City
As the capital city of the North West Province of South Africa, Mafikeng is not only politically significant, but is a treasure trove of South African history, as well as having abundant wildlife, rich culture and scenic terrain. The town was originally named Mahikeng (place among rocks) by Barolong chiefs in 1852 – a reference to the volcanic rocks which provided shelter for the earliest inhabitants of the area who left behind many intriguing rock paintings.
Mafikeng played an important role in the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) and a visit to the Mafikeng Museum provides insight into this tumultuous period of South African history, as well as documenting a multitude of fascinating facts regarding the history and culture of the local tribes in the area. Outside the city are the remains of the defensive fort known as Kanon Kopje which was built in 1885, as well as a monument honoring members of the Barolong tribe who died during the Mafikeng siege, and the Mafikeng Siege Cemetery. There are a number of historic sites to visit in the town linked to the renowned South African human rights campaigner, politician, journalist, linguist and writer, Sol Plaatje (1876-1932).
Nature lovers will enjoy the Mafikeng Game Reserve, a principal breeding refuge for White Rhino. Also close by are the Botsalano Game Reserve, the Lotlamoreng Cultural Reserve and the Montshiwua Dam, with a recreational area, waterfowl sanctuary and cultural village, while the Modimola Dam is a popular fishing and picnicking spot. Golfers have a choice of two golf courses – the Leopard Park Golf Course and the Mafikeng Golf Club. Clearly, the vibrant city of Mafikeng has something for everyone.