History

Pilgrim’s Rest: A Living Museum

Pilgrim's Rest is a quaint living museum of a mining town which experienced a gold rush in 1873 when the South African government declared it a gold field. This well-preserved little town is the setting for the book about the famous dog "Jock of the Bush Veld" by Percy FitzPatrick. His writings are preserved in a building in Pilgrim’s Rest, which served as the location for the 1988 motion picture of the book. The tarmac road in front of the Royal Hotel was covered with gravel for the movie.

HISTORY: The Railway Town Built on Gold

The name Gatooma is believed to have originated from a hill named Kaduma, close to Golden Valley. Kaduma is a Sindebele word meaning “which does not thunder or make a noise”. There is also a possibility that Gatooma’s name derives from the Chizezuru word Kudoma, which translates to a word which must not be spoken because it refers to a holy place inhabited by spirits. In all likelihood the hill was once revered as an early shrine, but for some reason became silent, because tribal spirits no longer spoke from its depths.