In 1866 a Scotsman, Alexander McCorkindale, bought the land on which the town was established from the Transvaal government in order to establish a “new Scotland”, to be peopled by Scottish immigrants. It soon turned out that McCorkindale’s get-rich-quick immigration scheme was doomed to failure even though he did succeed in getting more than 50 Scottish families, mostly his own relatives, to settle here. He named the new town Roburnia after Robert Burns, the renowned Scots poet, but the town was later renamed after Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Many of the farms in the area still have names with a Scottish ring to them. Amsterdam is the closest town to the nearby Nurston Border Post into Swaziland. Locals have named this small village with its mostly timber growing industry “Kwa Thandeka (I like this place).

Archaeology And Palaeontology

Rock formation: The Amsterdam area is ideal for hikes and picnics and you may just want to combine such an outing with a visit to the giant footprint etched into a rock surface at Warburton.


Mushroom Factory: The Edullis Mushroom Factory, situated in the Amsterdam area, processes and exports the mushrooms grown in the area.

Fauna And Flora

Jericho Dam Nature Reserve: The reserve is situated approximately 17km from Amsterdam. It preserves an area of high altitude grassland with abundant bird life and excellent water-sport facilities. It is also a popular destination for competitive anglers.

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