About Albasini Ruins

Whether you are travelling to South Africa for the first time, or you’re a local, you’ll know that this country is full of history and culture. This is celebrated in many different ways – from vibrant festivals to authentic African villages, from battlefields in Zululand to the Zeitz MOCAA Contemporary Gallery at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town. The Albasini Ruins are like a pearl in the treasure chest of South African history, and can be found at the Phabeni Gate to the Kruger National Park.

Situated just outside Hazyview, the Albasini Ruins are, in essence, what remains of the trading post of Joao Albasini, dating back to the 1800’s. Albasini was a Portuguese trader that set up his business in the early part of the 19th century. It is believed that he was accompanying his father to trading posts in Mozambique and Brazil when their ship was stranded on the African coast. Together, they decided to settle here and try to make it work.

This was not easy. There was the threat of tsetse flies and malaria. At first, he traded in the items that his father had left him before he’d gone back to Portugal, leaving his son to tackle the post alone. Eventually, he positioned his trading post along two ancient routes that connected Mozambique and South Africa. When conditions were safer (in the winter months), Albasini would take merchandise like clothing, knives, beads and mirrors inland along these routes. He traded them for ivory and headed back to the post before the summer months (which brought flies and mosquitoes) arrived. Then, he would trade with ships, exchanging the ivory for clothing, food and more merchandise.

Soon, Albasini became extremely successful and had positive trade relations with both the Boers (farmers) and the indigenous African tribes. He bought land just outside Ohrigstad in 1847 and opened a shop there. Eleven years later, he was made vice-consul of Portugal in South Africa, and a superintendent of the African tribes in and around the Schoemansdal area. Because of his position, it became necessary for there to be a formal postal service from Goedewensch to Mozambique every month. This established some sort of infrastructure, adding massive value to the area. Sadly, and ironically, in 1888, he died in poverty and was buried at Goedewensch.

Today, the Albasini Ruins is a cultural heritage site that is well worth a visit during your time in and around the Kruger National Park.

Need to Know

WhereAlbasini Ruins, near Hazyview, 10km from the Phabeni Gate entrance to Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Hazyview Accommodation, Mpumalanga


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