Piet Retief

Piet Retief Mpumalanga

Piet Retief. In the south-eastern tip of the Mpumalanga province, on the border with Swaziland. There you will find Piet Retief in the beautiful green Assegaai Valley. This place is named after one of the leaders of the Voortrekkers. Who moved from the Cape to the north-east of South Africa in search of more freedom. In February 1838 Piet Retief was assassinated during this trip by Dengaan. The king of the Zulus, after negotiations about the territory. This village was founded in 1882 (at the time a population of 72), and got its name. Officially the new name has been eMkhondo since 2010. Many African place names were changed by the government over the years. However most people prefer to use Piet Retief up till today.

Stop over Piet Retief

Piet Retief is used by many people as a stop on the way to the southern resorts of Mozambique. Or to the Kwazulu Natal coast. The Kruger National Park or to Swaziland.

Piet Retief is located in a wooded area as this is a wood producing region. For those who want to know and see how paper is made. A tour of the paper factory of Mondi Forest Pulp & Paper Plant is recommended. They are known for their efforts to produce paper in an environmentally friendly way. The main attraction in the village itself is the Dutch Reformed Church. The church is built in 1921 and designed by architect Gerard Moerdijk who also designed the Voortrekker Monument. Many people drive past one of the surrounding places. Just to take a photo at the place name sign of Amsterdam, Ermelo or Amersfoort (depending on your route).

Bird watching and hiking

The various dams, rivers and streams here are well suited for (fly) fishing. And of course this area is also popular with bird watchers and hikers. There are different routes that vary in length from a few hours to several days. A well-known route is the Assegai Hiking Trail that leads you through beautiful hilly / mountainous area. The Phongolo Highlands Hiking Trails are longer tours, from one to five days. Those who want to make a long trip can choose the Ngcaka or Mpisi route. Most birds can be found in the area south-east of Piet Retief.

Game Park

Other things you can do is visit the Piet Retief Game and Birds Park. It features a variety of local flora and fauna. At the Oribi Conservatory you can see these incredibly cute little antelopes up close. Who are committed to the survival of the oribi. At the information center you can learn more about the history of the village. Finally there are a number of war memorials nearby like the Zulu War Memorial. The memorial and cemetery in memory of the British soldiers who died in the Battle of Intombe.

Also interested in a great stop over like this? Join us in a guided tour. Learn more

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