Lichtenburg was established in 1873 and was named by Transvaal President Thomas François Burgers. On the 13 March 1926, Jacobus Voorendyk, discovered a diamond on his family farm and within 12 months there were 108,000 fortune seekers on the scene. The resulting diamond rush lasted ten years.
The main economic activity is the production of maize (corn) and meat. Lichtenburg lies in the heart of the maize triangle. Another major economic activity is the production of cement.
Considering its unique historical background and special places of interest, coupled with its tranquility and moderate climate, Lichtenburg should certainly be included in the itinerary of the tourist.
Attractions in and around Lichtenburg include:
– The theme of the Lichtenburg Diggings Museum is the alluvial diamant diggings of this region 1925–1935, then the richest public diggings in the world. The biggest pure red diamond (flawless) (“pigeon blood red”) in the world was found here in
– The town accommodates a Social-historical museum and an Agricultural museum with a big collection of antique tractors and many other interesting objects, and the new Digging Museum.
– Approximately 20 km north of Lichtenburg lies the world-renowned diamond diggings over an area of more or less 35 km from east to west, known as “Bakerville”. Bakerville is on the Zeerust Road.
– A modern public library and an excellent art gallery housing a valuable collection of paintings by well-known South African artists are situated in a wing of the Civic centre.
– The vlei which separates Lichtenburg from its biggest suburb, Kieserville, is unique in as much as the thick layers of peat had for decades been burning subterraneousley, creating a great hazard for man and beast. Very few such phenomena occur worldwide.
– The Dauth-Roode and Centenary dams provide the opportunity for water sport. A nine-hole golf course is kept in excellent condition and is quite a challenge for the keen golfer.
– Approximately 40 km on the Mafikeng road lies the Wondergat. It is one of the deepest sinkholes in South Africa where deep-freshwater diving can be practiced. Diving courses are given here and it is one of the most popular in-land diving places in the country. According to some inland divers, if you have not dived at Wondergat you have not dived at all.
– Two kilometres north-east of Lichtenburg is a unique game breeding centre. It is operated by the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa measuring 4,500 hectares (11,000 acres), where game such as addax, mohrr gazelle and the pygmy hippopotamus of West Africa are bred.
White rhino, blue wildebeest, zebra, impala, gemsbok and many other species are to be seen in their natural surroundings. The area is also ideal for a day trip or a fascinating weekend’s viewing and a pair of binoculars always comes in handy. Abundant water in the area creates a paradise for numerous water and other bird species.
The Willie Marnewick Birdhide is one of the largest of its kind in the country. It enables enthusiastic birdwatchers to look more closely at the birdlife. Barbecue facilities have also been provided, and special night drives can be arranged.
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