Good Living - The biggest attraction to Bronkhorstspruit is the calm ambient peace in the town, and then the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple to which I return often! There are many good guesthouses/guestrooms and Roxy's Diner is a quaint diner with good food and lekker wine. :)
All in all Bronkhorstspruit is an easy and rewarding breakaway for those who come from nearby areas like Pretoria.
A Cultural Melting Pot - Situated just 50 km East of Pretoria on beautiful Highveld grasslands lies the small farming town of Bronkhorstspruit. One can reach the town on the N4 highway towards Witbank and Middleburg. It owes its existence to the deliciously diverse melting pot of history and culture. Expect to see farmers, locals, and travelling businessmen who utilise its avenues repairing implements, filling maize silos, practising praise and worship and sending their children to some of the 100 year old schools in the town. Its simplistic appearance is far from the culturally diverse and vibrant inhabitants that live here. Historians note that Bronkhorstspruit started as a railway station on the border between Gauteng and Mpumalanga, one of the first serious clashes of the First Boer War between the Boers and British took place just a few miles east of the town in 1880. Some confusion lies as to where the town originally got its name but many believe it is named after the Afrikaans word for watercress “bronkors” (Nasturtium officinale).
Travellers visiting Bronkhorstspruit will be surprised to find the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere, located in the aptly named Cultura Park. The Temple is the third largest in the world and the only one in Africa. It is a magnificent sight representing superb architecture with sculptures and interior design incorporating both Eastern and African styles. The temple and its monks welcome all religions and cultures to meditate and relax. The Nan Hua Buddhist Temple also celebrates the Chinese New-year, Festival of Lights and Peace and Dharma functions and is well worth a visit.
One of the most beautiful natural attractions is the Bronkhorstspruit dam and the Bronkhorstspruit Nature Reserve, with its bountiful bass angling, catamaran club and leisure activities, you would find a few days’ worth of activities for the whole family. Known for the over 200 bird species, the nature reserve is home to Spike-heeled and Red-capped larks, cisticolas, pipits and Orange-throated longclaws to name but a few. Unbelievable the Bronkhorstspruit dam is host to the internationally praised Anton Smit Sculpture park. The gallery and art exhibition is on a plateau overlooking the dam and overs unparalleled scenery. Amongst the backdrop of natural limestone formations, manicured lawns and succulent gardens, it makes for a lovely environment to view the expansive collections of monumental sculptures and installations. It is a destination of creativity attracting tourists, art buyers and is home to the lovely, quirky “Imagine Café”.
You’d be forgiven for assuming that Bronkhorstspruit is not bitterly cold in the winter months, the area’s temperatures can drop on occasions to -9˚C with the lowest temperature drop recorded at -14˚C! These “ideal” temperatures are not so ideal for humans as they are for our finned friends, which you will find in abundance at the fly fishing venue Oxbow Country Estate. Oxbow offers rainbow trout fly fishing during the winter months from May – August. The estate overlooks nine meandering trout dams and offers tasty lunches and hearty breakfasts. Visit www.oxbowestate.co.za to book accommodation, conferencing, weddings or your first fly fishing lesson.
The next well-kept secret in the Bronkhorstspruit area, is the Ezemvelo Nature Reserve. Only an Hour’s drive from OR Tambo International Airport you wouldn’t expect to find spectacular cliffs and huge rock formations, the only ancient rock paintings open to the public in Gauteng, magnificent views over the Wilge river, a wide variety of 33 game species with over 2400 game, 300 bird species and explosion of fauna, flora, as well as grass and wetlands. Historical sights to be experienced on foot, on a mountain bike, on horseback, pulled in a horse-drawn carriage, or on a six wheeler game drive vehicle with or without experienced guides. The Ezemvelo Nature reserve offers walking trails, horseback safaris, cycling, birding, guided drives, “Friends of Ezemvelo” working weekends, research, projects, tourist educations programs, leadership and team building workshops in Nature. So if you’re passing through one day, take a turn and enjoy some of these attractions.