The Segarona Heritage Experience was developed to link the Pilansberg National Park and the Madikwe Nature Reserve. The word ‘segarona’ is a seTswana word meaning heritage, which is fitting as the area is full of Tswana culture and history. Most of the route area is made up of rural villages and pre-urban settlements where visitors can stop and interact with the local communities and experience their hospitality.
The route forms a triangular shape, connecting the major tourism hubs of the Pilanesberg through the Bakgatla territory and connects with Madikwe Nature reserve. Derdepoort and Zeerust, the gateway into Botswana complete the triangle at Groot-Marico, where it connects with the Pilanesberg.
The route stretches from the Pilanesberg complex of the Moses Kotane Local Municipality in the Bojanala district to the world-renowned Madikwe Game Reserve where the annual Heritage Park walk takes place. With both the Pilanesberg National Park and Madikwe Nature reserve being malaria free and Big 5 territories, the route has lots to offer nature enthusiasts.
Reasons to visit:
The route offers a range of attractions from the luxury of Sun City to the luxurious five-star game lodges in Pilanesberg and Madikwe. There are many other options for accommodation on the route however, including bush tented camps, guesthouses and lodges to fit any budget.
The unique dolomitic ecosystems such as the Groot Marico Eye, the source of the Limpopo River located just outside of Groot Marico, are home to several varieties of indigenous fish such as kurpers and aquatic invertebrates such as caddis and mayflies and seed shrimps that are found nowhere else in the world.
Birdlife of the savannah plains abounds and the numerous species attracted to the seasonally inundated pans contribute to the rich avian diversity of the route area. Vultures and other birds of prey can be seen within the route’s nature parks while a wide variety of mammals are found in the route’s reserves and protected including leopard, rhino, lion, elephant, buffalo and roan and sable antelope. A number of reptile species are found in the province, including the African rock python and black mamba.
The Marico River is one of the few perennial rivers in this part of the country. The eye is a fountain (17m deep) with the purest and cleanest water that is actually bottled at the soure. It is a favourite spot for scuba diving and camping. The Marico Bushveld Dam, also known as Riekertsdam, forms part of an irrigation scheme which provides farmers with water during the dry seasons. This dam is also used extensively for water sports like fishing, skiing, sailing etc. There is a well-equipped caravan and camping park right next to the dam.
Groot Marico became famous for a special drink, called Mampoer, made from local fruit and also known as ‘moonshine’. It is very high in alcohol content. The method of testing if the mampoer is strong enough is to put a match to it. If is bursts into flames it is regarded well enough.
The 76, 500 hectares of Madikwe encompasses a variety of eco-systems and lies 90km north of Zeerust. Madikwe was established in 1991 with the purpose of not only protecting our invaluable natural wildlife, but also allowing local communities to benefit from conservation and tourism projects. The game reserve boasts the Big Five, cheetah, Cape hunting dog, spotted hyena, giraffe, zebra and many species of antelope and herbivores.