Visit Rietbron at www.rietbron.co.za
The little town of Rietbron, established in 1910, lies in the heart of the Karoo, almost halfway between Beaufort West and Willowmore. It is the "Karoo dorp" of everyone's imagination, set as it is in Die Vlakte (the plains). Its main attribute is the friendly folk who live there.
Established in 1910 due to the surrounding farming community's need for a church, school and other social facilities, over 100 years later Rietbron is still a settlement that provides to the most basic needs of its community. The heart of the town is still the organisations that exist here namely the Church, the School, the Agricultural Association, the Womans' Club and the Tennis Club.
This is farming country. A vibrant mohair industry stretches from here to Willowmore and to Jansenville in the east. In earlier times farms in the area were heavily stocked - one farm carried 12 000 Angora goats for example, but degration of pasture-land over time has led to a more scientific approach when deciding on land carrying capacity. Given an average rainfall of 188mm a year, most of the farming involving Angora goats as well as Merino and Dorper sheep, is done through purposeful breeding and selection. Mohair and Karoo lamb are synonymous with Rietbron.
In 1973 uranium was discovered in the area, seen from an airplane on the rocks of a rock garden on the farm Ryskuil. Options were taken on several farms in the district and in 1977, Esko Minerals purchased Ryskuil. A test shaft was sunk, a village was laid out and a airfield was built. But in 1984, Esko discontinued its search for uranium becasue the price of uranium had declined by 50%. Since 2004 some prospecting has been done on Ryskuil and several other farms in the area.
The village hosts an annual sporting festival in aid of the local primary school that is attended by loyal "Rietbronners' from all over South Africa.
And, because Rietbron is truly 'in the middle of nowhere", it has become a firm favourite with weekenders yearning for an escape to a place where peace and tranquility abound.
Rietbron lies on the R306 between Beaufort West and Willowmore. It's about 100km from Beaufort West, or a little over and hour's drive.
The best time to visit is during the change of seasons - March/April, September/October to avoid excessive hear or cold. Please note there are no ATM's or banks in Rietbron, nor are there any fuel stations.