At the beginning and towards the middle of the 19th century, the area around Sabie was a hunter’s paradise.
Names like Rhenosterhoek and Olifantsgeraamte bear witness to this. From all over the country, but especially the Highveld, hunters flocked to this area. Here they camped with their families for weeks and even months, mostly to escape the cold winters. The men could hunt to their heart’s content while the woman could catch up on the gossip in between tending to the daily duties and working the meat.
The transport wagons passed through Sabie en-route from Lydenburg to Delagoa Bay. Percy Fitzpatrick of “Jock of the Bushveld” fame was one traveller who immortalised the area. He carted supplies for the gold fields at Pilgrim’s Rest and Barberton from Delagoa Bay (now Maputo) in Lourenco Marques (now Mozambique).
In 1846 the magistrate of Ohrigstad granted the title deeds to the farm, Grootvontjin (Grootfontein) to a certain Mr P J Badenhorst. He settled on his new farm which subsequently became the birthplace to the town Sabie.
The area had water in abundance with no less than five springs on Grootvontijn alone. Mr Badenhorst later sold the farm to P.J. De Villiers for £17.50 (currently R 315) who in turn sold it to a youthful Mr HT Glynn (age 23 years ) for a princely sum of £600 ( R10 800) !