The name literally means “Hamman’s stockade” and owes its name to a local nineteenth century farmer called Hamman, who built a stockade here to protect his cattle from lions.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
Tswaing Crater Museum: The Tswaing Crater Museum 40 km northwest of Pretoria on the R80 road, is South Africa’s first environmental museum and attracts visitors from all over. Tswaing means “Place of Salt” in Tswana and some still call it “the Pretoria Salt Pan.” Exhibits at the site and in the museum focus on the crater, the people and the natural history. The site features a 220 000 year-old crater, 1.4 km in diameter and 500 m deep, caused by a meteorite crashing into the earth. It is one of the youngest and best-preserved small bowl-shaped meteorite craters in the world. This protected area has walking trails that give visitors access to various archaeological sites, an African cultural village and a craft shop. The development of the museum was done in consultation with the people who live in the surrounding area. The archaeological findings show that the Tswana people were mining salt in the area over 800 years ago. During most of the twentieth century, the crater served another purpose – its soda ash was used for alkali in the mines. People may choose to visit the site on their own or with a guide. Visitors may also explore the crater via the walking trail, watch the birds or marvel at the some 420 species of plant life.
Mapoch Ndebele Village: The Mapoch Ndebele Village is part of the Tswaing Crater Museum. This is a permanent village and visitors are welcome to introduce themselves to the chief and watch how the traditional beadwork and clothes are made. The village offers a glimpse into Ndebele history, particularly how their houses have changed over the years. Various Ndebele leaders are buried in the graveyard. Please call Buti Msiza at +27 (0) 83 544 4432 to arrange a visit to the village.
History And Architecture
Nelson Mandela Statue: A statue of Nelson Mandela was erected in Hammanskraal and unveiled on 12 June 1999, in honour of “all our heroes black and white, young and old, who sacrificed their lives for democracy”.