Prieska – the place of the lost she-goat
Prieska is situated on the south bank of the Orange River at the foot of the Doringberg and it was originally named Prieschap, a Khoisan word meaning “place of the lost she-goat”. It is renowned for its semi-precious stones. The Schumann Rock Collection, including semiprecious stones and Khoisan stone implements, can be viewed at the municipal offices.
The area between Prieska and Vioolsdrif is often called the “Rock Garden Route” – where the rare halfmens and succulents of the Lithops family can be found – and the Ria Huysamen Aloe Garden outside town contains a large array of succulents.
Attractions in and nearby Prieska include:
Die Bos Nature Reserve with indigenous trees, shrubs and abundant birdlife, picnic spots, angling and suspended bridges across the Prieska River.
Fort on top of Prieska Koppie, built with tiger’s eye by the British during the Anglo-Boer War
The Memorial Garden in town which contains the graves of British soldiers killed during the Anglo-Boer War.
Wonderdraai where a horseshoe-shaped island is formed by the flow of the Orange River and makes it seem as if the river turns to flow uphill.
Battle of Magersfontein
The Battle of Magersfontein, just outside Kimberley took place during the Anglo-Boer War on 11 December 1899. The Boers scored a decisive victory in what became known as Britain’s ‘Black Week’.
The Battle of Magersfontein was a triumph for the Boer forces, a disaster for the British army, and came close to wiping out Scotland’s proud Highland Brigade. During the second South African War, the Boers had besieged Kimberley and its 50 000 inhabitants since November 1899. Supplies were scarce in the diamond-mining town and relief was imperative. The British public and press were demanding action. British forces advanced north along the railway line in an attempt to relieve Kimberley, but a Boer force was in their way at Magersfontein.