Tourist Routes/ Meanders
The African Ivory Route
Nylstroom has changed it's name to Modimolle.
"...At last, the Nile! We must be close to the Promised Land!"
Or so they thought, the Jerusalem Travellers, a group of religious zealots under the guidance of Enslin, who, following the maps in their Bibles, reached the river, flanked with reeds and flowing north. A pyramid-shaped hill nearby (Kranskop) strengthened their conviction that they had crossed Africa and reached Egypt. Nylstroom, the old name of Modimolle, literally means "Nile River".
Today the charming town of Modimolle is the commercial centre of the Waterberg district. Amongst typical bushveld are also vineyards, soft fruit farms and cattle ranches. Modimolle is famous for its export grapes and soft fruits such as peaches and watermelons. Other important products are cattle, game, peanuts and maize.
Many holiday resorts hug the Waterberg range. The pleasant climate with hot summers and moderate winters makes it a year-round holiday destination, only one and a half hours' drive from Johannesburg on the N1 to Zimbabwe. (The old N1 route from Warmbaths to Modimolle offers exceptional scenery.) Modimolle is popular for its birds, wildlife, hiking routes and hunting opportunities.
The historic Nylsvley Express is a luxury colonial train that offers rides to the nearby Boekenhout station.
A landmark of Modimolle is the solitary hill called Kranskop that the local African people regard as their holy mountain Modimolle (meaning "Place of the spirits"). It is said that architect Gerhard Moerdyk got his inspiration for the design of the Voortrekker Monument form Kranskop's profile.
Many famous people are associated with Modimolle, such as Advocate JG Strydom, (also called "The Lion of the North"), a former Prime Minister of South Africa; Eugene Marais, famous scientist, writer and poet; the artists Erich Mayer and Pierneef who both lived and worked in the area and architect Gerhard Moerdijk.
One of the most noteworthy attractions is the Nyl floodplain and the internationally acclaimed wetlands of 16 000 ha that are home to a large variety of water birds. Nylsvley Nature Reserve conserves part of this floodplain and supports a population of the endangered Roan Antelope and rare Tsessebe.
Activities and Attractions
Concentration Camp Entrance
This can be observed at the main entrance of the Eenheid Primary School. During the Anglo Boer War, the concentration camp opened in May 1901 with 1 851 inmates. In March 1902 the camp was moved to Irene, outside Pretoria.
Concentration camp cemetery
Last resting place of 544 women and children.
JG Strijdom House and Museum
Advocate JG Strijdom, Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa in the 1950s, lived and worked in Modimolle for many years. His house is still furnished with his belongings.
On this site in Calvyn Street there are two church buildings. The big white church was designed by Gerhard Moerdijk, built in 1929 and is still in use. Next to it is the oldest church building north of Pretoria, dating from 1889. It has been declared a historic monument.
The original locomotive used on the line between Pretoria and Modimolle after the line was completed in 1898, can be seen at the railway station. The old ZAR train bridge is nearby.
Nylsvley Bird and Nature Reserve
Situated between Modimolle and Naboomspruit on the Nyl floodplain, the biggest grass floodplain in South Africa. This sanctuary is home to a wealth of bird and animal life that can be viewed from five different hides. Open to day visitors and campers. Nylsvley Nature Reserve has been proclaimed a RAMSAR Site.
A popular fishing spot for carp, bream, black bass and barbell some 11 km northwest of the town on the R517.
There are eight hot spring resorts in a 40 km radius around Modimolle.
Scenic hiking trails, 4x4 routes, hunting safaris and horseback riding are available.
The annual Cycling Festival during the first week in January and the Grape Festival the following week attract some 10 000 visitors to Modimolle.
Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board
PO Box 1309, Polokwane, 0700, South Africa
Tel. (+27 15) 288 0099
Fax. (+27 15) 288 0094
Modimole Tourism Association
PO Box 159, Modimolle, 0510, South Africa
Tel: (+27 14) 717-4877
Fax: (+27 14) 717-5214