Groot Marico is a small, "blink and you’ll miss it" kind of town that is certainly worth a visit. It sits just off of the N4 highway between Rustenburg and Zeerust, known not only for its mampoer peach brandy but also for the Herman Charles Bosman Living Museum.
The area is lovingly called ‘Bosman Country’ because many of his stories were set here and the laidback, charming imagery he creates resembles the atmosphere in this friendly town.
Apart from the mampoer and museum there are other reasons to visit too. There are a multitude of beautiful old buildings that will enchant you, each with a history of their own. For interest sake, the wall behind the Information Centre was built by Italian prisoners of war during World War 2. Set off of course by towering blue gum trees and the Groot Marico Mountain looming in the distance.
If the name rings a bell not for reasons mentioned above, it may be because the little town has been in the news of late. Environmental groups have been protesting to stop an Australian-based mining company from mining nickel in the area through an open cast mine. They are worried about the environmental damage the mine could have on the town and neighbouring farms.
The Kortkloof Cultural Village is not your typical tourism hub but rather an authentic village with thousands of Tswana residents situated deep in the rural areas of the North West near Groot Marico. The residents live as their forefathers would have done hundreds of years ago.
It seems as though the rapid expanse and craziness has not yet engulfed them as they live a slow paced, simple life. The residents are more than happy to welcome visitors into their village showing them around, providing entertainment and treating visitors to a traditional Tswana meal. Discussions about culture and history and ways of life are encouraged.
Adventurous foodies though have special reason to visit, and that’s to experience traditional feast called the ‘seven colours’ at the Kortkloof Cultural Village.
here is evidence in the Kortkloof Valley of iron-smelting works and the remains of Tswana settlements that date back hundreds of years. The villagers are proud of their history, which is part of the charm of the village.
Visits must be arranged through the Groot Marico Tourism.
The Bokkraal Hiking Trail follows the flow of a tributary of the Marico River, Bokkraal Se Loop, providing you with the humbling sounds bubbling streams and the calls of birds that populate the banks. The trail is beautiful and accessible to most, allowing everyone the opportunity to explore the geology, flora and fauna of the area.
You can look forward to rock pools, waterfalls, cascades and rock formations that will set you up for the piece de resistance- the Tufa Falls. The Tufa Falls are named after the tufa rock which is a calcite, crusted, porous rock that forms lime-rich water. A combination of trails can be combined to make a route that suits you.
Address: Bokkraal Waterfall Valley Farm (30 kms south of Groot Marico)
On your list of things to see and do should be a visit to the Eye of Marico which is natural fountain in a river in Groot Marico as well as a tour of a mampoer distillery. The region is famous for its mampoer and you’d missing out on the some of the best if you passed through here without a tour. Do be warned though, driving after a tour which involves these irresistible tasters is not advised!!
Mampoer is a clear, unmatured brandy that is made from a variety of fruits (e.g. peaches, cherries, apricots, plums, pears, marula berries). It is probably most similar to European schnapps.