Highveld Heritage Route. Do you really know what astonishing heritage sites are in our area? A few popular tours that are currently marked internationally might entice visitors from the community to also visit these interesting sites.
Batwa Valley – with its Giant Mushroom Rock it is a site that will take you back in time to where the ancient “Tlou E’Tle” (Bushmen) lived and it is also where they met their end. The highly eroded Batwa Valley hides an ancient Stone Agesite and those interested in a sound and sense tour will experience the mystery (and emotions) of these ancient people during the Highveld Heritage Route tour.
A visit to the La Rochelle cave, where ancient rock art of the a’Batwa Bushmen is on display will shed some light on these ancient San hunters. Their perfect life and balance in nature still astounds archeologists today.
Tiqwa Cave Rock Art – If these rock art paintings could talk, they would most definitely reveal a time of forgotten people who painted their history on cave walls and left a legacy of myths, mythology and legends.
Ancient San, colloquially referred to as “Bushmen” left behind an enduring legacy, consisting of rock art paintings and engravings. Their artwork was created on the walls of the caves, outcrops and eroded rocks alongside the lakes in the Chrissiesmeer area, which also forms part of the Grass and Wetlands region.
The vast amount of paintings to be found in this area today is fascinating. Some of the oldest San Rock Art will be found here. Anglo-Boer War Battlefields – People are fascinated by the Anglo-Boer War and the Highveld area is the perfect region to start finding out about this tragic period in South African history. This war, which lasted from 1899 until 1902, evokes a keen sense of sadness which comes to life during a tour guide’s story on the Battle of Chrissiesmeer on the 6th of February 1901. This was the only battle ever fought within a town.
The grave site of the late Arthur Swantson, in the historic cemetery, offers an eye-opening love story. Flowers were delivered to this hero’s grave, all the way from England, for about 61 years. This area is also home to the very last battle that was fought on the Eastern Transvaal Highveld, which is called the Battle at Onverwacht.
This unique battle site and its monument recognises the fallen Boers, New Zealanders and Australians. It is perched on the side of the hill, overlooking the valley at Onverwacht. This is also the area where the overpowering Boer forces attacked the British on the 4th of February, 1902.
Chrissiesmeer Historic Town Walk – The sandstone village of Chrissiesmeer has an historic town walk where visitors can use a detailed map of the town to navigate the streets in search of the pillars and historic plaques. You will also be able to learn more about the history of each building which also includes the Battle of Chrissiesmeer and the Historic Cemetery.
Antique Tractor Museum – At Lothair, there is a museum of Jan Randel, where the largest collection of working antique tractors, motorbikes and other collectables can be visited. The owner is very proud of his collection and the fact that each item is in a fully functional condition, makes it even more spectacular.
There are many interesting and unique heritage sites and historic places which cry out for attention and the Regional Tourism Organisation will be putting a lot of emphasis on development during the next year. The planning phases will consist of the Gandhi Experience and The Amajuba Battle at Volksrust.
This will enhance the development of the Highveld Heritage Route which has been functional and very successful in other areas of the Gert Sibande District.