Brits is a large, ever expanding, and very beautiful town nestled in the verdant farmlands at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountains near the Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West province of South Africa. This terrific town and tourist destination lies along the N4 highway from Pretoria, Gauteng, en route to Rustenburg.
Although cattle, citrus, tobacco, vegetable, corn, and grape farming endeavours dominate the landscape, Brits’ largest pursuit is undoubtedly its platinum mining industry. In fact, 94% of the country’s platinum is mined in the Brits and Rustenburg areas which, together, are the world’s biggest platinum producer.
Brits had its humble beginnings in 1924 on the farm Roode Kopjes which was owned by Johannes Nicolaas Brits (who later lent the town his name). The town grew slowly but steadily until the Hartbeespoort Dam was built. Farming then boomed in the area due to the increased irrigation provided by the dam. Historically, Brits is famous for being the site at which the peace treaty for the Transvaal civil war was signed in 1864, beneath a karee tree roughly 7km south of Brits.
Brits and its beautiful surrounds offer excited tourists plenty of wonderful attractions to add to their itineraries. Keen birders flock to the Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve in their droves to add over 340 species to their lists of bird life spotted in the wild. The Rainbow Cultural Village provides invaluable insight into a few of the colourful cultures that make up our Rainbow Nation. The Tilodi Wilderness private game reserve boasts 4 000ha of lovely hills, wetlands, seasonal rivers, and spectacular birding and game viewing opportunities, while the Finfoot Lake Reserve delights tourists with comfortable accommodation, game viewing, fishing, canoeing, swimming, mountain biking, and hiking. The crocodile farm, the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre, the Granite Works, and the local high school, boasting its very own little nature reserve, are all quite unique attractions and are not to be missed. The De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre (now known as ‘the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre’), located just northeast of Brits in the small town of De Wildt on the R566, is Brits’ most famous attraction worldwide. The centre has worked absolute miracles over the years in the conservation of, most significantly, cheetahs but also brown hyenas, suni antelopes, blue duikers, wild dogs, and many more.