GROOT MARICO, a tiny, dusty and characterful dorp resting contentedly by the banks of the Marico River, just south of the N4 and 90km west of Rustenburg, gained fame through Herman Charles Bosman’s short stories based on his time as a teacher here. In mid-October, Groot Marico hosts the literary Bosman Weekend, drawing fans of one of South Africa’s best-loved authors from far and wide. At other times, visit the Herman Charles Bosman Living Museum on Fakkel Street which includes a re-creation of the school where Bosman taught and provides insight into his life. Nearby, the Art Factory on Paul Kruger Street sells Tswana cultural artefacts and locally made Afrikaner crafts such as wooden pipes, whips and clocks.

Although prone to stultifying heat, particularly in summer, the hills of the Marico district around the town are good for hiking, and when it all gets too much you can make for the river for cool relief. The water of the Marico Oog (“Marico Eye”), a spring 20km south of town, is particularly clear and refreshing: festooned with water lilies and surrounded by beautiful dolomitic rocks, it makes a tranquil place for a picnic, and can be paradise for birdwatchers, with over four hundred species recorded here. It’s also a favoured spot for scuba divers; contact the town’s information centre for more details.

  • Mampoer