This small town was established in 1895 and named after General Joachim Jose Machado, in recognition of the role he played in surveying the “Oosterlijn” railway line from Delagoa Bay (present-day Maputo in Mozambique) to Pretoria. Machadodorp became a temporary seat of government for the ZAR government of President Paul Kruger during the Anglo-Boer War when Kruger was forced to flee Pretoria. It was not long before the village was razed to the ground and the women and children transported to concentration camps in the Middelburg area.
President Kruger and his government were forced to move to Waterval-Onder where he spent two months before being forced to move once more. Today, Machadadorp, known to the local Africans as “Emthonjeni” (“Fountain/Resting Place”), with its temperate climate, the Elands River and thermal hot springs, is a well-known trout-fishing venue.
Adventure And Sport
Hiking: Guided trails such as the Wathaba Wilderness Hiking Trail will allow you to explore the beautiful natural surroundings of the Machadodorp area, perched on the higher reaches of the escarpment.
Paragliding and hang-gliding: The cliffs around the town offer excellent take-off sites for paragliders and hang-gliders.
Trout-fishing: The town and its surrounds are renowned for their many trout-fishing opportunities. Visit the De Kroon Dam, now also stocked with rainbow trout, for its excellent fly-fishing conditions and fishing tackle shop and become a member of the fly-fishing club.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
Blaauboschkraal Ruins: The ruins of a long-abandoned tribal settlement lie just outside the town.
De Kroon Dam Restaurant: The restaurant at the dam serves delicious country cuisine featuring trout dishes and several home-cooked specialities. The pub next to the restaurant is built over the dam creating the illusion that the building is floating on the dam. Spurwinged geese are often spotted from this vantage point.
History And Architecture
Historic Buildings: When Machadodorp was razed to the ground during the Anglo Boer War, only one cottage, Rose Cottage, built in the early 1880s, survived and is still standing today. This is one of the town’s more picturesque buildings.
Kruger Plaque: The Kruger Plaque was erected in town to commemorate President Paul Kruger’s brief stay in here.
Hot Springs: The hot, radioactive thermal springs, a short distance from the town, are said to have healing powers. The area has been developed into a resort that is much frequented by people suffering from arthritis and rheumatism.