Potchefstroom is an academic city on the banks of the Mooiriver (beautiful river), roughly 120 km from Johannesburg and 45 km from Klerksdorp in the North West province. With an abundance of hiking trails, national monuments, animal parks, historic museums, natural parks, and host of the annual Aardklops Festival, Potchefstroom has plenty to keep you busy all year round.
Potchefstroom, lovingly shortened to “Potch" by locals, is a diverse holiday destination offering attractions and activities for all ages. Founded by the Voortrekkers, it is believed to be one of the oldest settlements of European descent in what was then known as the Transvaal.
Potchefstroom is home to 5 tertiary institutions and 30 schools. What it has in terms of academia, it matches in sport. After all, Potch isn’t known as the North West province’s “home of sport" for nothing. The city hosts the provincial headquarters of 17 of the most important sports, including Senwes Park, Olën Park, Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds, and Kenneth McArthur Stadium.
There is so much history in Potchefstroom. Historians will enjoy trips to the 4 museums that make up the Potchefstroom Museum, namely Main Museum, Totius House Museum (1905), President Pretorius House (1868), and the Goetz/Fleishack House (1857). Other sites of historical interest include the Old Fort and Cemetery, South African National Artillery Memorial, Berlin Missionary Complex, Old Powder Magazine, Old Fourth Prison, Old Post Office Building, Edwardian City Hall, and the Potchefstroom train station and steam locomotive. We also love the Nederduitsch Hermvormde Kerk, St Mary’s Anglican Church, and the Dutch Reformed Mother Church.
The Oak Avenue is Potchefstroom’s pride and joy, built in 1910 by the Town Council. The lane stretches for 6.84km from the Agricultural Centre to the Lakeside Resort and has been declared a monument with a stone beacon and bronze plaque erected on the corner of Lombard and Kruger Street.
If you enjoy arts and culture, you will love the Aardklop Arts Festival held in September each year. This mostly Afrikaans festival boasts exciting theatre productions, art exhibitions, music shows, flea market, food stalls, beer gardens, street theatre, mime, and more. If you’re looking to relax, you can spend your time shopping at MooiRivier Mall with food and entertainment facilities overlooking the Mooiriver, or play a round of golf at Landboukollege Golf Club.
Other sites of interest include the Snowflake Silo Building, Tlokwe Memorial Park, Piet Malan House, and the Kohinoor Cinema built in the early 1950's. The cinema was used by the community in the 50's, 60's and 70's, and for dancing competitions and weddings prior to the forced removals which began in 1958.
View the site of a 80 km wide meteorite impact at Dome Bergland Nature Park where you can also enjoy hiking, mountain climbing, river rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, abseiling, and more. Other recommended parks include Boskop Dam Nature Reserve, OPM Prozesky Bird Sanctuary (home to over 200 species of birds), Buffelsvlei Wild Animal Park, The Trim Park, and Cachet Park.
Whether you’re planning on visiting for a week or a weekend, Potchefstroom has plenty to keep you coming back for more.