Potchefstroom, Southern Region
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Lying on the banks of the Mooirivier (which means 'beautiful river' in Afrikaans) Potchefstroom, or Potch as it’s known to locals, is described as a large academic town, bringing to mind a pretty, tree-lined village teeming with students, which is slightly misleading.
Potchefstroom is indeed home to the popular North-West University, formerly known as the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, that does have a buzzing student life – the Bult, a series of restaurants and pubs, is testimony to this. It is also home to five tertiary institutions and some 30 schools. This combines with a strong farming economy, the country’s largest chalk factory, one of the largest organ factories in South Africa, and a generous hospitality sector, giving Potchefstroom a rather unique atmosphere, one that is welcome when compared with the frenetic pace of Johannesburg.
Potchefstroom was the first town north of the Vaal River and has a historical legacy that includes the largest oak tree avenue in the southern hemisphere and various national monuments like the old police station building, Heimat building, the magistrate’s office, the old gunpowder house and various churches worth visiting. The Edwardian City Hall, together with that of Krugersdorp, is the oldest existing city hall north of the Vaal River.
The OPM Prozesky bird sanctuary is home to 200 different bird species, Buffelsvlei Wild Animal park is definitely worth a visit, and a monthly art market in the City Council gardens provides interesting purchases. Potchefstroom’s Sanlam Auditorium, part of the university, serves both the city and neighbouring towns with high calibre theatre.
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Featured Attractions in (or near) Potchefstroom
Regarded as one of the largest waterfowl sanctuaries in Southern Africa, Barberspan Bird Sanctuary lies on the outskirts of the little known Delareyville, close to Vryburg on the N14 highway and roughly three hours’ drive from Johannesburg. Barberspan is the largest of a series of pans that lie in the ... more information
Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve lies on the North West province side of the Bloemhof Dam, on the dam’s northern shores. Regarded as one of the largest dams in South Africa covering an area of 25 000 hectares that lies at the confluence of the Vaal and Vet Rivers. Bloemhof is one of the angling destinations in the country ... more information
The Boskop Dam Nature Reserve is 3000 hectares of rolling grasslands that offer visitors sightings of black wildebeest, springbok, red hartebeest, zebra and blesbok. Situated about 20 kilometres from Potchefstroom, Boskop Dam lies amongst a series of low hills. It is a fantastic fly-fishing venue, offering crystal ... more information
For bird enthusiasts the Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve often forms part of a bird spotting tour and is regarded as a place for ‘serious’ birding. It helps that there are two loops of well-maintained roads and three seasonal dams in the reserve, so that accessing both the birds and the 30 odd species of wildlife resident ... more information
The bird list alone reads like a veritable feast, and you can hope to see anything from a steppe buzzard and African harrier-hawk to a spotted flycatcher and malachite kingfisher in the North-West University Botanical Garden that graces the University of of the North West in Potchefstroom, the university city... more information
The Pilanesberg National Park, which covers some 55 000 hectare, is the fourth largest in southern Africa. This malaria-free park is perched on the eroded vestiges of an alkaline volcanic crater - one of only three such craters in the world. The park boasts healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino ... more information
Set in beautiful surroundings, with hundreds of willow trees lining the banks of the Mooi River which winds through the property, Potchefstroom Golf Course is regarded as one of the finest tests and best-kept courses in North West Province. The Potchefstroom Country Club with its 18-hole golf course, forms part of ... more information
One of the earliest wildlife conservation research centres in the country, the SA Lombard Nature Reserve is the park credited with saving the black wildebeest from extinction in the wild, and whilst it is not open to the public, there are a couple of guest houses that serve as accommodation in this peaceful ... more information
The Wolwespruit Nature Reserve lies on the Vaal River and is one of the least known of the parks in the North West province, possibly because of its size - only 2330 hectares. The reserve is popular with birdwatchers and hikers. The grassy plains are home to a number of antelope, including the once endangered ... more information
Things To Do in Potchefstroom
Events and/or Festivals in Potchefstroom