Vryburg is situated halfway between Kimberley and Mafikeng, in the Bophirima region of the North West. Often referred to as “South Africa’s Texas”, Vryburg is responsible for the largest beef production in the country. Vryburg is the perfect holiday stopover when road tripping along the N14 or travelling on the railway line that runs from Cape Town to Botswana.
Established in 1882, Vryburg is an agricultural and industrial centre that was once used as a concentration camp by the British during the Boer War. The 2,062 hectare Leon Talijaard Nature Reserve’s gate house is a former Boer War prison, built to house Afrikaner prisoners captured by the British forces. There is a small museum and a plaque that commemorates the prisoners executed here. The reserve is home to white rhino, blue and black wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, springbok, eland, gemsbok, red hartebeest, blesbok, buffalo, duiker, and over 100 species of birds. Hiking trails are available to explore on foot.
The Voortrekker Monument, located just outside of Vryburg, was built to honour the Great Trek of 1835 when 12,000 Afrikaner families hiked into the dry and remote interior to put distance between themselves and the British colonial forces.
Today, Vryburg is South Africa's largest beef production district, especially for Hereford cattle. The town hosts the largest cattle sale in the Southern Hemisphere with a turnover of more than 250,000 head of cattle a year. Located on the banks of the Huhudi River, Vryburg is extremely fertile and grows a number of crops like maize and peanuts.
Molopo Game Reserve consists of dry Kalahari grassland and thornveld. Established in 1987, the reserve has numerous species of antelope, warthog, cheetah, brown hyena, caracal, black backed jackal, African wildcat, honey badger, and spotted genet. The reserve has 120 species of birds, and forms part of a 1 million hectare raptor conservancy with breeding pairs of bateleur, tawny, and martial eagles, as well as white backed and lappet faced vultures.
Other attractions in Vryburg include a golf course, rock engravings at Kinderdam, the Swartfontein Pleasure Resort, Tiger Kloof Native Institute with a stone church that is now a national monument, and the nearby Theiler Museum with its interesting collection of veterinary equipment.
Vryburg is a fascinating holiday destination full of ancient stories and natural beauty.