One hour just north-east of Johannesburg and Pretoria, lies the warm, big-sky region of Dinokeng, source of the world’s largest diamond, an area that sparkles with natural, cultural and historical attractions. The Greater Dinokeng Area, meaning “a place of rivers”, is a region in northern Gauteng rich in natural, cultural and historical heritage sites.
Dinokeng’s four major tourist hubs are:
- the historic town of Cullinan, where the world’s largest rough gem-quality diamond was discovered in 1905;
- the Roodeplaat dam, a birders’ paradise;
- the Dinokeng Game Reserve, Gauteng’s only free-roaming Big-Five reserve, and
- Dinokeng Central which is the best kept secret as well as the springboard for visiting the other hubs.
Click here to read more about Dinokeng’s rich history.
Dinokeng central is the best kept secret and hospitable heart of Dinokeng where you can melt into nature right on the doorstep of the capital city. It is also dubbed ‘The Marloth Park of Dinokeng’, the ideal springboard for visiting the other hubs of the diverse Dinokeng destination: Many properties in Dinokeng Central offer a ‘private’ game reserve experience where they offer safe walking and can freely look for birds, other fascinating creatures and game such as impala, waterbuck, nyala, zebra, wildebeest and so much more. Here we have many private ‘hunting’ farms who will take you on an exhilarating experience accompanied by professional hunters with ethical conservation values.
Built in 1956, the Roodeplaat Dam lies 22km north-east of Pretoria, where it augments water supply to northern Tshwane via the Montana, Wonderboom and Magaliesberg reservoirs, and provides water direct to residents of Doornpoort. In 1972 plans were passed to develop the area as a nature reserve and recreation facility, and five years later the reserve was proclaimed. Today Roodeplaat Dam attracts hundreds of city dwellers who spend weekends enjoying a variety of outdoor pursuits. The water-sport and birdwatcher’s haven is centered around the Roodeplaat dam which is to the immediate southwest of Dinokeng. The southern part of the Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve has become a picnicking, hiking, birding and game-viewing hub.
The magnificent Dinokeng Big Five Game Reserve is to the north-west of Dinokeng. Gauteng proudly welcomed the first visitors to its malaria-free Big Five Dinokeng Game Reserve in 2011 (Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino). Since then, the 21 000ha reserve has grown in stature to provide a free-roaming haven for brown hyena, lion, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, buck, elephant, rhino, leopard and myriad bird species, including the endangered blue crane and a breeding pair of martial eagles. We believe by applying the philosophy of UBUNTU to people and nature alike, we can establish a conservation model for the future, and ultimately will make the world a better place.
The historic diamond-mining town of Cullinan is the glittering neighbour in the southeast with Rayton as a gateway, only 30 minutes drive east of Pretoria and Refilwe where you can experience cultural township tours and have your hair plaited in the salons. Please see the Dinokeng Tours map for directions and a view of Dinokeng with over 120 activities listed. Rayton is the historical mecca of Dinokeng which has many exciting historical sites, including Diamond Hill Battlefield, Prinsloo Agricultural and Sammy Marks museum, Zonderwater and its’ Italian Prisoner of War museum. Here you have many beautiful nature reserves where you can go horseriding, quad biking, and so much more.