Following the award-winning programme on SABC2, Mooiloop, we bring to you, THE BOOK! Discover 39 small towns and learn all about the history, architecture, economic activities, people, recipes and hospitality.
Below are extracts from these small towns to discover their lifestyle, culture and the essence of each place that these people call home.
Calitzdorp is almost the sterotypical Route 62 town. Renowned for its delicious dried fruit, port and robust red wines; it’s home to artists, artisans, farmers and dreamers. It’s not far from Oudtshoorn, the Cango Caves and ostrich farms. There is a popular hot springs resort just outside the town and it’s close to the spectacularly beautiful Seweweekspoort and mysterious back door to Hel(l) – the alternative route to Gamkaskloof. Driving out of the town, keep a lookout for curious ostriches peering over the bushes and don’t miss the bizarrely eroded Red Hills with their caves and arches.
Page 26 – 29 Mooiloop! THE BOOK
Groot Marico is not really that groot at all. In fact, it’s tiny. And if it weren’t for the works of one brilliant man – the much-loved writer Herman Charles Bosman – it would be almost totally unheard of. But it’s not just about resting constantly on the laurels of a long-dead writer. The town is a vibrant place in the Now. With a range of artists and some interesting craftspeople reviving old arts like whip-making, Groot Marico carries on Bosman’s tradition of accepting, embracing and loving the bushveld with all its quirks. It is the kind of place you visit with an open mind and an open heart. But even if you don’t arrive that way, you may just leave that way, because Groot Marico is a town with a soul.
Page 82 – 82 Mooiloop! THE BOOK
Of course, Stone Age and Iron Age people lived in this area for centuries, as evidenced by the artefacts displayed in the Deneysville Library, but there were no major modern settlements here until the construction of the Vaal Dam. It was a quiet place near the confluence of the Vaal and Wilge rivers, and a good hunting spot. It’s where Deneys Reitz, the renowned author of Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War, had his hunting lodge and refuge. Besides being a solider in the South African (Anglo-Boer) War and the First World War, he was also a politician and lawyer. When the dam was completed, the town that sprang up was named after him. Deneysville is close to Jo’burg but still retains a rural feel – and of course the proximity to a huge expanse of water makes it paradise for landlocked anglers, sailors and other watersports enthusiasts.
Page 102 – 105 Mooiloop! THE BOOK
This tiny town, tucked away in the deeply forested regions of Limpopo, is a secret little gem. Surrounded by berry farms, forests and plantations, and nestling in the shadow of the immense and mysterious Wolkberg, it is a place that seems far removed from the hustle and bustle of urban South Africa. Time definitely moves a little more slowly. Haenertsburg is only a few hours from Johannesburg and a mere 50km from the busy N1, but it feels as if it is a million miles away from the city – and, except for a few welcome mod cons, a hundred years back in time. It’s a pretty chilled kind of place where you can find yourself. Or, if you prefer, lose yourself. It’s all the same, really.
Pages 122 – 125 Mooiloop! THE BOOK
To discover the towns, places, people and their recipes get a copy of Mooiloop! THE BOOK, click here
All images courtesy of Blue Marble Entertainment