The city with an urban vibe, yet rich with historical sites. Mafikeng attracted the attention of the world during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. Today the city is a vibrant provincial and commercial capital and a major tourism attraction.
The name Mafikeng (Mahikeng) means “The place among the rocks”. This name was given to the area by early Barolong chiefs who had settled along the Molopo River, near the present day village of Rooigrond, in 1852.
Mafikeng later attracted the attention of the world during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902 as the small British garrison under the command of Colonel Robert Baden-Powell held out for 217 days against Boer forces.
Today Mafikeng is a vibrant provincial and commercial capital and a major tourism attraction for the the history, culture and wildlife of this unique region of South Africa.
Sights In And Around Mahikeng
Most visitors to Mahikeng are surprised to find there is more to the town than the Anglo Boer War, the Mahikeng Siege and the Boy Scouts. Although the city prides itself on these three historically important events, all of them well documented, there is much, much more to he seen.
For many years the mentality of Empire and Colonialism predominated Mahikeng’s place in history and little relevance was placed on the role of black people in the town’s history. Since 1995, much has been done to correct this imbalance and the predominant tribe in the area, the BaRolong-Boora-Tshidi has done much to change these perceptions.
Visit the Mahikeng Museum to view the extensive ethnographic and Anglo-Boer War exhibits. To the south east of Mahikeng is Kanon Kopje, a defensive fort built during the Warren Expedition of 1885. Nearby the Kgotla of the Barolong Boora Tshidi, the tribal meeting place of Chief Montshoia. A monument honouring the Barolong who died during the Mahikeng siege stands beside another in recognition of Kgosi Besele Montshoia, head of the Barolong Regiment during the siege. Also nearby is the Mahikeng Siege Cemetery.
There are a number of sites linking the famous Sol Plaatje, South African politician, journalist, campaigner for human rights, novelist & translator, to Mahikeng at the time of the siege. These sites include his residence, his newspaper office and printing works.
The 4600 ha Mahikeng Game Reserve hosts a wide variety of game and is on the principal breeding parks for White Rhino. The Manyane Game Lodge features a lion enclosure and crocodile camp. 30 km west of the city, the Botsalano Game Reserve is a popular weekend attraction for game viewing.
Heritage House, is located at the entrance to Mahikeng on the Lichtenburg Road (R503), housing the Head Office of the North West Parks and Tourism Board at Cookes Lake.
To the south of the road to Vryburg is the Lotlamoreng Cultural Reserve and Montshiwua Dam where there is a cultural village, recreational area and a demarcated waterfowl sanctuary. Nearby is the Modimola Dam, an angling and weekend picnicking site.
Tel: +27 (0) 18 389 0111