The Bushbuckridge/ Acornhoek complex of townships runs in an almost continuous line alongside the main north-south R40 arterial road by the Kruger, from around 20km south of Hoedspruit right down to near Hazyview.
Large herds of antelope (bushbuck) decided that the grassy ridges surrounding this trading centre were ideal for grazing, and the town derived its name from their presence. Begun as a trading store opened in 1884, the town grew as a result of its position in a generous countryside of tobacco, cotton and vegetable farming.
THINGS TO DO
The Shangana Cultural Village offers a series of tours, events and festivals geared towards giving visitors an insight into the traditional way of life of the Shangaan people. Artists and craftspeople work and trade in the market village. Tours to outlying fields and villages start here and are conducted by trained guides. The locals tell about their history and customs, show ornate beadwork, the weapons of the warriors and the farming methods and traditional healing practices. Lunchtime tours (around R100) include a full traditional meal. The evening festival (around R150) includes a torch-lit procession to Chief Soshangana's kraal as well as traditional dancing, music and choirs. The chief's wives serve a feast that includes crocodile strips, mopane worms and fire-grilled corn-wheels.
The principal attractions of the nearby Mapulaneng Hiking Trail are a set of spectacular waterfalls, wonderful scenery and chalet accommodation.
An excellent Game Reserve near Bushbuckridge, and one that forms part of the Greater Kruger (unfenced with the Park, and sharing in the fauna and flora) is the Manyeleti Game Reserve (Manyeleti means "the place of the stars" and is namedafter a small lake noted for its reflections of the heavens). The entrance to the Manyeleti Game Reserve lies about 45km to the east of Acornhoek, 42km north of Bosbokrand.
Originally there were five large ranches in the area, used mainly for hunting. These farms were bought by the South African government and in 1967 were opened as a game reserve for African people, now open to everyone. The 20,000 hectare reserve is densely bushed and provides a sanctuary for a great variety of game. Visitors to the reserve may enter the Kruger National Park through a border gate.
Courtesy of Jacana Media