Swartruggens was founded in 1875 on the farms Brakfontein and Scheepersrus and is little more than a village. The first trading store was built in 1896. The Voortrekkers (Cape Dutch Pioneers) named this place ‘black backs’ because of the black ridges that surround the town and which reminded them of the backs of oxen. The town lies 55 km west of Rustenburg and 69 km from Zeerust.

Adventure And Sport

Grey Loerie Hiking Trail: The Grey Loerie Hiking Trail is ideal as a day or a day-night route. The trail offers a wide variety of trees and is ideal for bird watching. The trail takes you through mountainous and bushveld terrain.

Schoongezicht Hiking Trail: The Schoongezicht trail crosses the Schoongezicht Holiday Farm. Those who want to stay overnight will have to stay for 2 nights minimum.

Fauna And Flora

Moedwil Daisies: The irrigated fields of daisies on the farm of Moedwil are an unexpected sight since one would expect to only see them in the Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape. These wildflowers are indigenous to Namaqualand.

This area has several spots worth a visit by nature lovers, including Lindleyspoort Dam, Swartruggens Dam and Tulane Game Lodge.

History And Architecture

Elands River Battlefield: The Elands River battlefield is of historical importance in that it was the scene of a number of Anglo-Boer War battles. The battlefield was the scene of some of the last conventional fighting during the Anglo-Boer War, before the guerrilla phase of the war was ushered in. During the Elands River Siege, the Boers succeeded in getting hold of British supplies. The trenches and horse graves are quite difficult to find and it is best to ask for assiatence at the local information office.

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