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Pilgrims Rest

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Pilgrims Rest is a unique town for backpackers to visit - where the history of gold in South Africa is live and interactive.

Gold was discovered here in 1873 and brought people from far and wide. In 1881 the big operators arrived, bought the small guys out, and it became a company town. The last bits of gold were found in 1971 and it was then sold to the government as a ready made historical town.

Notable buildings in the village are the Miner’s House Museum, Shop Museum, Alanglade House Museum, the Royal Hotel, the Old Print House, the post office and the town hall. There are guided tours of the diggings daily.

Among the nuggets found in the early years were “Lilley”, which weighed 119 ounces and “Brenda” (214 ounces).

For those budget travellers looking for something a little more on the wild side, the Mt Sheba Nature reserve is nearby, is extremely popular amongst bird lovers and is regarded as one of Mpumalanga’s premier forest-birding destinations.