Lose Your Heart To Harties
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Lose Your Heart to Harties
Hartbeespoort is a tiny town with a big heart. Find out why you’ll always want to go back. Driving west on the R511, you are met with one of the most breathtaking views in the North-West. Maybe even in the whole of South Africa.
The moment you see the cross on your right, you know that your trip up Saartjie’s nek will now reveal the sleepy houses of Hartbeespoort, a view of the gorgeous Magalies mountains and, of course, the dam.
Visitors and residents alike always take a moment to admire the picture-perfect entrance to a town nestled in between the Witwatersange. This famous view was even treasured and captured on canvas by one of South Africa’s most influential artists. No, really! Pierneef spent some time in Hartbeespoort and portrayed the Magaliesberg in various works.
Natural beauty is not the only thing that Hartbeespoort has to offer. Join us over the nekkie and find out why Hartbeespoort keeps pulling on your heartstrings to return.
The Windmill Windmill Blow Away Your Cares
The most famous sight to greet you as you enter Hartbeespoort is, of course, the giant blades of Jasmyn’s windmill.
Most of the farmland around Hartbeespoort delivers fresh products to Jasmyn’s shop and the three restaurants on the property. Take a walk around the store to indulge in organically grown fruit and veg at the best prices in the country. The dairy produces award-winning Jersey Cow milk, cream, yoghurt and cheeses.
Above the store lies every book lover’s heart’s desire: the “Bookery”. You will lose many hours working your way through the huge selection of books. But, who are we kidding? You won’t mind.
If you are visiting over the weekend, the Jasmyn Crafters Market is a must-see if handmade items and eats are your thing. Harties hosts quite a few different flea markets if your inner bargain hunter is itching.
The Hart Mark is a giant 1500m2 permanent market and its website boasts of being the biggest online craft platform in South Africa!
Chameleon Village is a property that includes an African Curio Market, a Crafters Market, the Ugly Duckling Décor Store and multiple garden shops.
Want to see more? This gorgeous video from Living in SA TV will take you for a lovely walk-through the luscious gardens and property that Jasmyn boasts.
Learn the Language of Love at French Toast Coffee Café
If you drive down the R511 a bit more, you will end up at Hartbeespoort’s own taste of Paris – French Toast Coffee Café. The French Toast Coffee Café was built to serve as the bar in the film French Toast.
Some of the film elements were also integrated into the French Toast experience. These include a 12.5m Eiffel tower, the ‘I love you wall’ and even a lock bridge. Indulge in a sweet escape of French toast-inspired menu items while French café music serenades your meal.
Closer to Nature in Hartbeespoort
The immediate area around Hartbeespoort supports multiple bird parks, wildlife parks and wildlife rehabilitation centres.
Take Giant Steps at The Elephant Sanctuary
The Elephant Sanctuary in Hartbeespoort offers hands-on interactions with these gentle giants. Their experiences are respectful of the elephants and educational to boot. Their expertly trained staff believe in positive reinforcement elephant training methods, which means that you will interact with their charges in a calm and cruelty-free environment.
Wild at Heart at De Wildt Cheetah
The De Wildt Cheetah centre’s website quotes: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum
If you are keen to instil a love of nature and conservation in your little ones, while being safely exposed to South Africa’s majestic big cats, you have to stop at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in De Wildt.
An Animal Of Many Colours
If you are already visiting Chameleon Village for the shopping or their restaurants, you might consider stopping by their Lion and Tiger park. Maybe you are more interested in our scaly friends? Chameleon Village also offers live reptile demonstrations at the Snake and Reptile Conservation park.
How Harties Helps us to Learn from Our Past
Hartbeespoort was an important location during the Transvaal Civil War.
The conflict between some of the Voortrekker leaders in the early years of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek affected this part of the Magaliesberg. The biggest animosity that pertains to this area was between Andries Pretorius and Andries Hendrik Potgieter, the founder of Potchefstroom. Andries Pretorius, after whom Pretoria is named, retreated to Hartbeespoort (then known as Grootplaats) after his defeat in the Battle of Boomplaats in 1848.
The main residential area in Hartbeespoort, Schoemansville, is named after Stephanus Schoeman who was a supporter of A.H Potgieter.
General Schoeman is honoured with the same cross that you see as you enter Hartbeespoort from Saartjies nek. The Cross-monument was erected in 1955 to commemorate Schoeman’s efforts to bring peace between the Boer and British people during the Second South African war.
You can read all about his efforts when you visit the monument.
Lesedi Cultural Village
If you would like to learn more about the wonderful cultures in our country, head to Lesedi Cultural Village. Developed in 1995 as a tourist attraction it celebrates the cultural traditions of several different peoples of Southern Africa. It reproduces traditional dwellings and offers demonstrations of dances and other cultural activities.
Lesedi is a Sesotho word meaning “light”. The village features five traditional homesteads, each representing a different culture: Pedi, Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho and Ndebele. Visitors can choose to spend one day or even stay over in one of the villages.
It is truly an enriching experience and is definitely a stop to set aside a few hours for.
Sophia dam wall
Hendrik Schoeman built the first “grand scale” dam of stone and cement in 1898. This predecessor of the dam wall that you can visit today, was called the Sophiasdam after his wife.
The dream of the dam was taken up again in 1905 by Swedish engineer August Karslon. Unfortunately, the dam wall and the road leading over it were only completed in 1923. The Triumphal Arch built over the centre part of the dam wall was erected to provide structural mass to the wall’s water-retaining strength.
The Arch has two inscriptions on the eastern and western sides. The first inscription is from the Vulgate translation of Isaiah 43.19-21: glorificabit me bestia agri dracones et strutiones quia dedi in deserto aquas flumina in invio ut darem potum populo meo electo meo.
‘The beasts of the field, the serpents and ostriches will glorify me
Because I provided waters and rivers in the pathless desert
So that I might give drink to my chosen people”.
The second inscription consists of an abbreviated version of the first sentence of M. Terentius Varro’s Res Rusticae. sine aqua arida ac misera agri cultura
‘without water agriculture is dry and harsh’
Get your Harties-rate up
Hartbeespoort offers many experiences that will make your outing Instagram worthy.
Cableway or the Highway
The Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway was originally constructed in 1973. It is a 1.2 km long cableway that extends to the top of the Magaliesberg and offers panoramic views of the dam. Here you can hike, mountain bike, paraglide or just sit and enjoy the view with a meal or drink from their restaurants. Watch why the cableway is an unmissable stop.
Up in the Air
If the top of the mountain just isn’t high enough, why not take to the skies with a hot air balloon ride? Bill Harrop’s balloon safaris promises that: “the exceptional peace of this unique and almost supernatural view of the world will forever remain as a truly cherished memory.”
You’ll have to get out of bed quite early, but the experience is certainly worth the memories. Book a trip with them today.
Take to the Waters
Maybe the air is not your favourite element. No worries. Harties offers relaxing, fully inclusive boat cruises around the dam.
Just imagine yourself, your loved ones and a sundowner on the Danny Buoy as you sail your cares away. The cruise starts from Kommandonek, and passes Kosmos Village and the dam wall.
At the Heart of the Matter
There are many more experiences, restaurants and must-see stops in and around Hartbeespoort. If you live in Gauteng, it really is just a short trip to feel like you’ve arrived at the other side of the country.
Why not contact one of the many B&Bs, hotels or resorts in the area and make a long weekend of it?