Between Coligny and Mafikeng on the R503. Lichtenburg is situated approximately 230 km west of Johannesburg on the main route to Mmabatho. It lies 1,459 m above sea level.
Lichtenburg was established in 1873 by Commander H.A. Greeff.
The history of the town is closely associated with the life of General De la Rey, who apart from being the town’s representative in the House of Assembly, was also Assistant Commandant-General of the Boer forces. After Unification he became Senator. He died after a shooting incident at Langlaagte and was buried in Lichtenburg.
Hennie Potgieter’s massive equestrian statue of the great Boer general Koos de la Rey, who farmed near Lichtenburg, was unveiled in the town in 1965.
Lichtenburg is sometimes called ‘Wilgedorp’ because of the willow trees along the furrows lining the streets. The town was established on the farms Middelbosch and Doornfontein which were presented for this purpose to the Transvaal Republic by Commandant Hendrik Greeff in 1866.
The town was the focus of diamond fever between 1925 and 1930 and, while it lasted, there were some 50 000 diggers and 100 000 labourers active in the district. After an estimated £ 15 million worth of diamonds had been found, the source waned and only a few diggers remained to pursue their dreams of fortune.
The backbone of Lichtenburg’s economy is now agricultural and the maize produced in the district is handled by one of the biggest cooperative companies in the country. Other grains are also produced and cattle ranching is another major agricultural occupation.
The climate of Lichtenburg is healthy and moderate. Frost occurs in winter but the days are pleasantly sunny. As a result of natural water resources and wide-open spaces it has a natural charm and it a true oasis in a otherwise slightly arid North Western region.
Visit the web site at: www.lichtenburg.co.za
The Lichtenburg Game Breeding Centre is a project of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa whose headquarters are in Pretoria. The main aim of the Centre is to augment the National Zoo’s breeding programmes of endangered species and to supplement the animal populations the Zoo.
A good network of roads facilitates the viewing of animals. The hide at the Vulture restaurant allows one to see these magnificent birds at close quarters as food is put out regularly.
Stay overnight by booking into the self-catering guest house. This consists of three bedrooms with en-suite bath rooms, a kitchen and sitting room. An additional two self-contained units which can accommodate three people each are also available.
Enjoy a night drive through the centre under the guidance of an experienced guide. Book in time to avoid disappointment.