Mac-Mac is a historical area in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa and the site of the country’s earliest gold rush. It is located near the town of Sabie, 5 km from Pilgrim’s Rest.
Gold was discovered in 1872 by Thomas Mclachlan and partners. This triggered the first gold rush in South Africa and diggers from all over started to flock to what later became ‘Mac-Mac’. Alex “wheelbarrow” Patterson discovered rich gold deposits in the Pilgrim’s Creek in September 1873. The nearby Mac Mac twin falls, originally a single stream, acquired their current appearance when gold miners blasted the stream to reach the gold-bearing reef over which it drops.
The quaint old gold mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest is the starting point of the epic journey. The history of gold mining operations in the Pilgrim’s Rest area goes back more than 160 years. The trail passes many relics from these early days of mining as one climbs away from the start.
The Fanie Botha Trail is situated in the Sabie area and located on the Drakensberg escarpment. On this trail, runners can admire the Lone Creek and Mac Mac Falls – both national monuments – or just get carried away by the scenic grandeur of the Drakensberg. Some of the main attractions on this section are Mount Moodie, Mac Mac Pools, Mac Mac Falls and more than 5 other waterfalls.
The Prospector’s trail is a unique trail that beautifully combines the historical interests and natural environment of the area.