The word Thabazimbi means “Mountain of Iron”, and refers to the rugged mountains looming over the bush-covered plains and to the iron that was first discovered here in 1919. Development of the area began when iron and steel production started in the 1930s. The town was proclaimed in 1953. In addition to mining, cattle-ranching is another important economic activity in the district.
Adventure And Sport
Hunting: Thabazimbi is known as the hunting Mecca of the Bushveld Region and hosts an annual festival to showcase the facilities available.
Hiking: The area around the town has several trails, hikes and paths. Arrangements can be made with any of the following companies or organisations: Amanita Safaris, Berg Hiking Trails, Berg-en-Bos, Buffelshoek, Buffelspoort, Frankfort “Jagplaas” (hunting farm), Glen Trollope Trust, Izell’s Farm Holidays, Kareelaagte Reserve, Kommanader, Kransberg Lodge, Kransberg Trails, Lemmington Wegdraai, Lyon “Wildsplaas” (game farm), Ngonyama, Radikhwekhwe Nature Trails, Rhino Bushveld Eco Park, Shabalala, Somerset North, Thaba Manzi and Thaba Trails.
Outdoor Activities: Various activities can be enjoyed in the vicinity of town, namely 4×4 trails, cycling, angling, archery and several other sports.
Entertainment And Shopping
Game festival: The annual game festival is usually held in May and showcases the hunting potential of Thabazimbi and its surrounding areas. Emphasis is placed on conservation and ecotourism, whilst an exhibition and game auction are also part of the festivities.
Fauna And Flora
Atherstone Nature Reserve: This reserve lies west of Thabazimbi and is a cooperative venture between Limpopo’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and local landowners. The reserve is open to hunters only during the hunting season. For the rest of the year, all visitors are welcome to enjoy the bushveld wilderness and the game. The animals in the reserve include elephant, black and white rhino, giraffe, sable and roan antelope, as well as a variety of other types of antelope. The best time to visit is from April to October.
Ben Alberts Nature Reserve: The reserve was established by the Iron and Steel Corporation (Iscor) in Pretoria, which obtained much of its raw materials from Thabazimbi. The reserve, named after a former mine manager, is situated in the Crocodile River Valley and has fine scenery and an abundance of game such as white rhino, giraffe, zebra and a variety of antelope. A comprehensive network of roads provides access to all parts of the reserve and also to lookout points with stunning views over the area.
Bird life: The surrounding bushveld area attracts many bird-watchers. Thabazimbi is justly proud of its endangered Cape vulture colony.
Marakele National Park: The park is situated 10km outside of Thabazimbi. Its Tswana name means “Place of Sanctuary”. The park has a large quantity of wildlife, including elephants and wild dogs and a captivating array of plants and birds. Marakele lies in the heart of the Waterberg and the road leading to the top of the Waterberg offers magnificent views of the entire area and of the mountain range. A large Cape vulture colony, boasting some 800 breeding pairs has its home in the park. The park also allows 4×4 enthusiasts to explore Marakele’s wonders.
Rhino Bushveld Eco Park: The park is located 14 km south-west of Thabazimbi at the foothills of the Kransberg Mountain Range. Some 22 species of mammals, 150 species of birds and 140 species of trees can be seen here. The area is also endowed with fascinating geological phenomena, such as the stalactite and stalagmite formations that can be seen out in the open at the aptly named Miracle Wall.
Leopard and the rare sable antelope can also be seen in the area, as well as giraffe, zebra and various other species of antelope. The park also has a number of hiking trails.