Modimolle is a gentle historic town in the foothills of the Waterberg mountains. It’s surrounded by wilderness areas and farmlands of maize, ground nuts and table grapes. The town is a gateway to a series of private game reserves, nature reserves, national parks and wilderness getaways.
Modimolle used to be known as Nylstroom, which means ‘Nile stream’ in Afrikaans. The name was given to the town after a breakaway sect of Voortrekkers settled here in the 1870s - they thought they’d reached the Holy Land and Nile River. The pyramid they thought they’d seen turned out to be a koppie, and the Nile River turned out to be the Magolakwena River in flood.
The town of Modimolle is a pretty and laidback spot, with a bustling town centre and small treed suburbs. There are many lodges, B&Bs, guest houses and hotels in and around Modimolle. The area offers assorted eco-tourism delights, from game viewing and bushwalks to 4x4 trails, horse riding, hiking, biking and birding.
Look out for
The Waterberg mountain - Go hiking, rambling, game viewing, walking, birding or botanising. The mountains are famed for their rugged beauty and stunning scenery, and are part of the Waterberg UNESCO Biosphere reserve. The Waterberg offers a range of wildlife and safari experiences from Big 5 private reserves and game lodges to remote wilderness hideaways and self-catering bush camps. There are also national and provincial reserves.
Makapan’s Valley National Heritage Site - In 1936, Professor Raymond Dart discovered an Australopithecus fossil here that indicated the presence of hominids some 3,5 million years ago. The valley is rich in fossils and bones that tell tales of the lives of our hominid ancestors.
Strijdom House & Waterberg Museum - A comprehensive reflection of the Anglo-Boer War in the Waterberg area, where fighting was particularly fierce.
Doorndraai Dam - A great spot for a day’s fishing or picnicking. This quiet and scenic dam has beautiful mountain views and is great for birding. It’s surrounded by grassland, bushveld and woodlands that provide an ideal habitat for a wide variety of birds and mammals.
Nylsvley - Nylsvley Conservancy is part of South Africa’s largest floodplain. These wetlands attract vast numbers of birds – in fact more birds come here than anywhere else in the southern hemisphere. The Waterberg Nylsvley Birding Route covers Nylsvley, the Waterberg mountains and Marakele National Park. These make Nylsvley a very popular area for birding.
Limpopo Gateway Gallery - This is a wonderful showcase of local and African arts and crafts; great for gifts and goodies.