Lion’s River Village

The last lion in the area was shot near St Ives in 1856.  As with modern housing developments called “Woodland/Orchard/Meadow/Owl’s Hoot”, places are very often named for what was once there, but is now destroyed.  There is uncertainty about who named Lions River, but likely this is the reason.

r Lion's River

The famous River Walkers will pass the village late next week after wandering for 80kms along the convolutions of the river. Lions River has seen its share of celebrities over the years. In 1947, the royal train bearing King George VI and his entourage stopped at the station on their tour of South Africa and met the Thokan family who arrived in the area in 1915 and are still trading in Lions River.

r lions river railway shed

The Mandela Capture Site, where Nelson Mandela was arrested in August 1962 is situated nearby.  Some controversy surrounds its exact location but the arresting officer is adamant that they chose that dangerous corner knowing the car would have to slow down there. On his trip to the site, Mandela asked to visit the old Thokans store as he remembered stopping there for refreshments on his journeys in the 1950’s.

r lions river building

Beyond the ruins of the old railway bridge, the large flood plain is a picture in Spring when masses of pink and white striped Crinum bulbispermum are in flower.

Crinum bulbispermum.res


About Nikki Brighton

I live in Howick, between the river and the hills. I enjoy pre-dawn walks in the streets with my dog, sitting on the veranda with crochet and tea, and harvesting vegetables outside the kitchen door.
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One Response to Lion’s River Village

  1. Liz Gow, Western Cape says:

    Hello River Walkers, the bravehearts of the Midlands! Travel well on this next journey with a full moon to guide you in the earlier days, my thoughts will be with you each day, Best wishes Penny, Preven, Penz and Sandile. Liz Gow

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