The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Ottoshoop


Entering Ottoshoop from Zeerust

Photo © Johan van Zyl

North West

Today Ottoshoop is a shadow of its former self. For a brief period in the late 1800's Ottoshoop boomed after gold was discovered on the farm Stinkhoutboom by M.J. Kelly. A rush to stake claims ensued and soon it became obvious that a formal town was needed to house the mining community. Elaborate street plans were drawn up but were never implemented as the mines all were flooded by underground water. The plans for the town did not go to waste, however, as they were used to layout Johannesburg.

During its boom town President Kruger visited the site with a Mr. Otto who was the magistrate in the area. Apparently Mr. Otto remarked to the president that he hoped that the town, named Melemani at the time would boom, so President Kruger renamed the town Ottoshoop ('hoop' meaning 'hope' in Afrikaans.)

Ottoshoop is known for the massive sinkhole named Wondergat which is used for advanced scuba diving training. Wondergat is the deepest natural sinkhole in the country.

The town is located 20 km from Mahikeng and falls under the Mahikeng Local Municipality.

What is there to do in Ottoshoop?

Ottoshoop street

Above - A street in Ottoshoop

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Ottoshoop Post Office

Above - Ottoshoop Post Office

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 219

On Route - Explore South Africa region by region - 3rd edition - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 2014 - Page: 324

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 165


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