At the end of the beautiful weekend in Thabazimbi, we learned that nature has a way of nurturing our souls, that soul nurturing was needed
“To walk into nature is to witness a thousand miracles,” said Mary Davis. And walking and driving in nature is what we did in Thabazimbi to affirm what Davis said.
When the bustle of the city started suffocating us, and an escape was needed, so we looked towards the north. It was on a Friday afternoon when we left for what is dubbed a “baecation” (time you spend with your significant other). By the time we left Bela Bela, it was around 4pm and the first Thabazimbi board signaled that it was 140km away.
The onset of winter meant that we were most likely to arrive at our destination as the sun set. As we entered the small city of iron ore, we were greeted by a big sign that said “Welcome to Thabazimbi”. It looked and felt safe so we stepped out of the car to take a snap in front of the welcome sign. That was our welcome into the iron city.
Thabazimbi. Picture: Kabelo Chabalala
We then drove to Thaba Mall which had all the basics. We lodged at Lyon Lodge that is situated up a mountain about 5km from the city. When we arrived it was already dark so there wasn’t much to see. Our host and tour guide advised us to wake up a little earlier so we could witness the sunrise.
ALSO READ: Travel destinations inspired by Africa Day
Boy, oh boy! We woke up, made coffee, and headed out to witness the breathtaking view. There was fog that covered the trees and was moving up the mountain. It was beautiful! You could feel the freshness of the air and the tranquility that came with it.
We then headed back to get ready for the Township Tour which was to be followed by a private drive in Marakele National Park with Sydneys African Wild Safaris. We were picked up from the lodge by Pule Lesejane, the township tour guide, in the company of Pulane Letuka, our host.
We travelled on the narrow roads through the different townships of Thabazimbi. We visited the Iscor, Ipeleng and Regorogile townships. There was also a very interesting needle that we spotted on the pavements of the old Kumba Iron Ore offices on Van der Bijl Street. The needle is very symbolic. It is made up of all the stone layers one has to penetrate through in order to reach the iron ore.
We concluded our tour at a museum of old machines which were used in the 1900s to mine the ironore. The township tour was informative, educational and gave us a beautiful bonding experience.
We had a scrumptious lunch at Thaba Nkwe Bushveld Inn. It is on the long stretch to Lephalale. We then made way to the Marakele National Park. We were greeted by impala and baboons as soon as we drove into the park. Zebras, elephants and lions were on the wish list. Unfortunately, there were no lions in sight, but we saw elephants, warthogs, zebras and white rhinos.
The drive around the park was highlighted by beautiful scenery. It is as though someone was arranging the mountains to suit a particular pattern. The sunset at the end of our drive was breathtaking. And just like that, our Saturday was concluded.
On Sunday we went on a 10kmhike at the Klipbokkie Wedding Venue and Adventures. We were worried about the idea to watch out for, and one stayed behind to ensure that we were all covered. That was the sweetest dog-human interaction we have experienced.
At the end of the beautiful weekend in Thabazimbi, we learned that nature has a way of nurturing our souls. And that soul nurturing is the greatest miracle that happened to us in the city of iron ore. It all made us want to keep exploring our sense of adventure of hiking on Sunday, because we were heading back to Pretoria in the afternoon.
To our surprise, the hike was not tiring at all. The trail is strategically placed alongside a river and it is picturesque. In the company of three cute and intelligent guide dogs, the hike to the waterfall was seamless. Two went ahead of us to sniff and signal if there was anything.