The Dinokeng Region, Gauteng

Just north-east of urban Joburg and Tshwane lies the vibrant and warm, big-sky region of Dinokeng, where the world's largest diamond was discovered. Today the area is sparkling with natural, cultural and historical attractions. Marketed as the place the world’s largest diamond was discovered because of its proximity to Cullinan, Dinokeng lies about 45 minutes’ north-east of Johannesburg, and a mere 14 minutes from Pretoria / Tshwane.

Did you know? Dinokeng translates into 'place of two rivers' - in this case the Elands and Pienaars.

Referring to an area, rather than a particular town, Dinokeng is part of an initiative by the government to establish a tourist destination close to urban Gauteng that lies roughly in the catchments area of two rivers - the Elands and Pienaars - that subsequently flow into the greater Olifants and Limpopo Rivers.

Did you know? Once you've booked your hotel or Dinokeng accommodation, explore the town and destination pages below for info on attractions, activities and things to do when you visit the Dinokeng Region.

The land has witnessed a number of different cultures, which together form something of a melting pot of history. The Tswana, Pedi, Afrikaans, Ndebele, English and Tsonga-speaking people have all had significant effects upon the land and rolling grasslands of Dinokeng; and Anglo-Boer War blockhouses, battle sites, cemeteries and forts are all evidence of the conflicts that have left their mark.

There is a lot to do and see in the Dinokeng Region. Three dams lie in the area - Mkhombo, Rust de Winter and Roodeplaat; the historic homes of the Sammy Marks Museum, the village of Rust de Winter, and what remains of the Wallmansthal Mission all reflect the old ways of life; whilst Dinokeng is one of the country’s prime bird watching areas, second only to Ndumo in the St Lucia area in terms of the diversity of species.

The Dinokeng Game Reserve, part of the government’s initiative, is run by a non-profit company and combines about 270 property-owners’ land in what will be a 90 000 hectare game reserve that offers Big Five game viewing, a wealth of archaeological sites that take visitors back to the Stone Age, and a unique cultural experience in the form of art and craft studios for local artisans.

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Destinations in the Dinokeng Region

Boekenhoutskloof

Overnight? Boekenhoutskloof accommodation
About half an hour’s drive north east of Pretoria, nestled in the foothills of the Bobbejaans Mountains, lies Boekenhoutskloof, named, it seems, after the Boekenhout tree that is prevalent in the area. It is hard to believe that it’s possible to achie...

Bronkhorstspruit

Overnight? Bronkhorstspruit accommodation
The little town of Bronkhorstspruit that forms the point of a triangle with Rayton and Bapsfontein, about 50 kilometres east of Pretoria, is a little farming community that deserves a visit for the sheer beauty of the area and because it is home to the Na...

Buffelsdrift

Overnight? Buffelsdrift accommodation
Lying on the western boundaries of the Dinokeng area, between the Roodeplaat Dam and the N1 highway, Buffelsdrift Conservancy has become a popular place to visit not only because it is so easy to reach, so close to both Pretoria and Johannesburg, but also...

Cullinan

Overnight? Cullinan accommodation
The charming little village of Cullinan that has managed to hold on to much of its mine village character - its historic stone and corrugated iron mine workers’ houses, offices and churches a throwback to the mining times of the early 1900s - lies 30 kilo...

De Wagensdrift

Overnight? De Wagensdrift accommodation
Head slightly north east of Pretoria for roughly 40 kilometres and you will find De Wagensdrift, an area dominated by farmland and wide open spaces; an ideal spot from which to experience a 'bushland' escape, whilst remaining close to the city. De Wag...

Doornkloof

It is interesting, when you start tracing its roots, to realise that this part of northern Johannesburg, known as Centurion, has its heritage steeped in history despite being modern. Lying between Pretoria and Midrand it once had not only its own town ...

Hammanskraal

Overnight? Hammanskraal accommodation
Roughly 30 minutes from Pretoria, virtually on the border with the North West Province, the little town of Hammanskraal lies just off the N1 - the R101 runs directly through it. It’s not a particularly pretty town by any one’s standards. Its neglect is a ...

Leeuwkloof Valley

Overnight? Leeuwkloof Valley accommodation
For visitors to South Africa that want to enjoy all of the conveniences of the big city, but prefer to stay overnight outside Johannesburg and Pretoria, there are gorgeous spas, weekend retreats and lodges in the Leeuwkloof Valley. This beautiful vall...

Rayton

Overnight? Rayton accommodation
Not far from the historical village of Cullinan is the little town of Rayton, another settlement to have evolved from the discovery of diamonds in the area. With the opening of the Premier Mine in the vicinity, many diamond diggers made their way to t...

Roodeplaat

Overnight? Roodeplaat accommodation
The Roodeplaat Dam was constructed in 1956 and was initially called the 'Pienaars Rivier Dam'. The Dam supplied the surrounding landowners with irrigation and was later developed into a tourism destination. Rich with abundant fish, bird and wildlife, t...

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