Rock fields near the town of Kaapsche Hoop

 Kaapsehoop shown within Mpumalanga

Coordinates: 25°35′S 30°46′E / 25.583°S 30.767°E / -25.583; 30.767Coordinates: 25°35′S 30°46′E / 25.583°S 30.767°E / -25.583; 30.767
Country South Africa
Province Mpumalanga
District Ehlanzeni
Municipality Mbombela
  Total 0.35 km2 (0.14 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
  Total 182
  Density 520/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
  Black African 24.7%
  White 75.3%
First languages (2011)[1]
  Afrikaans 51.1%
  English 25.0%
  Swazi 20.0%
  Southern Ndebele 1.1%
  Other 2.8%

Kaapsehoop or Kaapschehoop is a town in the Mpumalanga province (formerly Eastern Transvaal) of South Africa. It is situated 1486 m (4878 ft.) above sea level on the Highveld escarpment, about 25 km from Nelspruit, the capital of Mpumalanga. The name of the town is no doubt derived from the fact that when gold was discovered in the town, the find created hope for the early inhabitants of the geographically nearby De Kaap Valley – The Cape Valley – of attaining great wealth.

Kaapsehoop is set out between large natural clearings in the rock fields near the top of the escarpment overlooking the lush De Kaap Valley situated some 800 metres below, with distant views towards Barberton and Nelspruit.


Kaapsehoop originally gained fame as a gold mining town once known as the Duiwels Kantoor – the Devil's Office – towards the end of the 19th century, when gold was discovered in 1882 in a small creek running through the town. This led to portion of the original township layout being canceled and opened up for gold diggings. However, the earlier better paying discoveries of gold at both Pilgrim's Rest in 1873 and Barberton in 1881, followed by the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886 (later to become the town of Johannesburg), coupled with the meager returns obtained at Kaapsche Hoop led to the town going into decline.

The town has been "re-discovered" in recent time and has now become a popular weekend retreat with its period housing including accommodation establishments. New housing (some not period) has also been established on some of the remaining vacant stands (erven). The town is also within commuting distance of the centre of Nelspruit situated some 30 odd kilometres away.

The rock field formations near the town are made up of quartzites of the Black Reef Formation of the Transvaal Supergroup.

Origin of the name

Kaapsche Hoop is the original High Dutch spelling of Kaapsehoop as now spelt in Afrikaans. The name of the town was no doubt derived from the fact that gold was discovered in the town which sits high above the De Kaap Valley – The Cape Valley – and the find then created the hope for the early inhabitants of the nearby De Kaap Valley area of attaining great wealth.

High Dutch was the official language of the two original Boer Republics of the Orange Free State or Oranje-Vrijstaat and the South African Republic or Suid Afrikaanse Republiek or Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR). High Dutch was eventually to be replaced by Afrikaans a colloquially spoken language of many of the European descended settlers. Afrikaans was largely derived from Dutch and incorporating words derived or adopted from French, German, English and indigenous African languages. (Refer to main page of Afrikaans to learn more).


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