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The Village of Kaapse Hoop

High on the mountains (remnants of the first continent formed over 3.5 billion years ago, and containing the earliest evidence of life) that cradle De Kaap valley and Barberton, nestles the historic village of Kaapse Hoop. Originally called Duiwel’s Kantoor (Devil’s office) it was renamed Kaapse Hoop in the 1880’s because the unusual rock formations and swirling mists brought Table Mountain to mind.

The Swazi’s mined gold and iron ore in the area but no prolonged settlement was established until the early European hunters and traders arrived and used it as a base to escape the heat and malaria of the Lowveld.

With the discovery of gold Kaapse Hoop boomed and during the Boer War being in a strategic position the British invested the town. Today you can still see the old encampment and the graves of the soldiers in the graveyard.

From two thousand people during the 1880’s gold rush until the early 1980’s, when the tar road was built, the population dwindled to just sixteen. Now Kaapse Hoop has been re-discovered and there are regular fetes and happenings that attract many customers up from the heat of the surrounding Lowveld.

Though the derelict jail and magistrates court can still be seen at the top of the village and the wild horses that loom out of the mist when you least expect them are a living reminder of a bygone era.

The villagers (approximately 120 residents) have imbued a new vitality. The many artists restoring in wood, stone and stained glass have softened the often stark Victorian colonialist with the more esoteric and often quirky.

Enter the Salvador (100 meters from Mountain Haven). The high pressed ceilings and rustic timber blend nicely with works covering the walls. They also do a great pizza, have wild parties on weekends and possess a pool table.

Close by you’ll find Kim’s fired & stained glass and a small café which supplies bread, milk and cigarettes – but little else at that so provision yourself at Ngodwana Spar before you come up the mountain!

Further into the village you’ll find Ingrid's Gold Mine Antiques and Object D' Art, the Clay Lady, Maxi's delft inspired ceramics, Koek ‘n Pan pancake parlour where you'll also find Rudy who does off-road quad car trails.  At the top of the village Silver Mist offers daily meals and situated across the road is the Golden Place Bar.

Surrounded by forests, waterfalls, unusual rock formations and thousand meter drops with magnificent views you’ll find Kaapse Hoop has the ambience that few other places in Mpumalanga or even South Africa have.

Click below to enlarge