Focus on Lichtenburg, North West, South Africa

Lichtenburg was named by President Burgers of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek as he hoped that the town could become the light of the region. The town - oasis of the North West - with its unique historical background and special places of interest, coupled with its tranquility and moderate climate is worth a stop-over.

The town is today the centre of a huge farming district where maize, groundnuts and sunflower seeds are the main crops.

In 1926 a diamond was found on the farm Elandsputte resulting in a diamond rush with more than 100'000 diggers streaming to the town. In March 1927 25,000 runners took part to peg their claims in one of the biggest diamond rushes in history. The biggest pure red diamond ("pigeon blood red") in the world was found here. By 1935 the rush was over after 7 million carats of diamonds were discovered. Lichtenburg Diggings Museum has exhibits of the alluvial diamant diggings of 925-1935.

The Ampie Bosman Cultural History Museum gives an introduction to the interesting & colourful history of Lichtenburg. Exhibits cover the founding & development of the town, discovery of the local diamond fields, the siege of Lichtenburg during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and much more.

In the town square stands an equestrian statute of Koos de la Rey, one of the brilliant Boer military commanders during the war of 1899-1902 and the town's most notable son.

A wonderful collection of farm implements and tractors from the earliest history of mechanised agriculture in the region is on exhibit at the North West Agricultural Museum. Exhibits of blacksmith tools, a horse mill from the last century and old steam engines can also be seen.

The Lichtenburg Game Breeding Centre outside town provides a good network of roads facilitate the viewing of animals. The hide at the vulture restauarant allows one to view these magnifucent birds at close quarters.

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