Previously called Nylstroom, Modimolle is close to the fabulous Nylsvlei Nature Reserve. It’s interesting how the town got its original name. A bunch of Voortrekkers came across a north-flowing river (which is pretty unusual in South Africa) and – particularly after sighting a pyramid-shaped hill – assumed they had crossed the whole of Africa and had reached the Nile, so they called the river the Nylstroom (or Nile Stream).
Well, they were a couple of thousand kays out, but it’s still a pretty place, particularly Nylsvlei, about 30 km from the town. Covering 16,000ha this reserve is an awesome birding area with over 400 recorded species, over a hundred of which are water birds.
Considered one of South Africa’s most important wetlands, Nylsvlei is a RAMSAR Wetland of International Importance. Nylstroom, or Modimolle, is about two hours’ drive from Johannesburg and is considered to the gateway to the Waterberg. It’s a small town but there are more than adequate facilities including restaurants and some lovely guest houses.
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