The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Modder River

Afrikaans name: Modder Rivier

Modder River town

Modder River

Photo © Johan van Zyl

The little town of Modder River is situated near the point where the Modder River joins the Riet River. The Afrikaans word "modder" refers to "mud". "Riet", as in Riet River, is the Afrikaans word for "reed". The N12 highway passes nearby the town. The town straddles the border between the Northern Cape and the Free State provinces.

The town serves the local farmers who raise beef cattle and grow a number of crops under irrigation. A lot of grain is grown in the surrounding areas.

On 28 November 1899 a bloody battle took place in the area between the British and Boer forces. Lord Methuen led his British forces against the Boers led by General Piet Cronje. The British succeeded in driving the Boer forces back but both sides had many casualties.

Today one may visit a block house built by the British to guard the bridge over the river. It is a good example of these buildings which were built in many places around the country.

Have you visited Modder River? What was it like?

Modder River shops

Shops in the town

Photo © Johan van Zyl

British block house

A block house from the Boer war

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Been there? What's it like?

References and further reading


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