We offer eco-4×4 trails, hiking in dry river bed, view the ancient dry Molopo, visit the famous meerkat manor stars, or just relax between the Kalahari red sand dunes. Stay in our fully-furnished farm house or in our bush camp which situated between dunes. Bring your family and friends and enjoy.
The warm Kalahari sands will blow over my footprints
Van Zylsrus is situated on the banks of the dry Kuruman river. The region was part of an ancient trade route between the Tswana regions south of the Molopo and the Great Nama land-Damaraland and Ovamboland.
After the great drought of 1907-1908 farmers, especially of the South Free State and North Eastern Cape, came to the region. Water was however a great problem in this arid part and boreholes were drilled by Major Thomas Cullinan on Eensaam, Kameelrus, Murray, Springputs, The Heights, Van Zylsrus and Visgat.
Van Zylsrus was named after General J.A. van Zyl who joined General De la Rey and fought in battles at Kimberley and Sweizer-Reneke where he freed a group of women from English troups. He was one of De la Rey’s commanding officers in Griqualand during the 1914 rebellion.
During the 1914-1915 Rebellion, general J.A. van Zyl fought in and around Kuruman and the Kalahari. He was also commander of a group of horsemen during the South West Africa (Namibia) campaign. For four days they rested at a windmill on the place where Van Zylsrus is currently situated and then continued on their Kalahari journey. According to Donald Riekert, author of Woestynruiter, die lewe van veggeneraal Jakobus Albertus van Zyl, the general, as he rode away, lifted his hand and called out, “For four days I rested here, the name of this place is Vanzylsrust.”
After the war a few farmers were appointed as borehole guards. As compensation for their services they received free grazing-rights for their animals. In 1929 farmland was allocated to farmers. Van Zylsrus was allocated to a Mr Visser, who sold off a part of his farm which included the residence. This was the origin of Van Zylsrus.
“The warm Kalahari sands will blow over my footprints. But the warmth of the Kalahari people will be printed in my heart. I came as a stranger, I left as a friend.”
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