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The historic hamlet of Rhodes was established in 1891 and was promulgated as a “Conservation area” in 1997. It is the only complete village in the country that is a National Monument from one end to the other.
There were 3 primary reasons for the establishment of the Village – agriculture, religion & commerce. Education soon followed suite, a school was built in the mid 1920’s.
Located in the Southernmost portion of the Drakensberg range. It is surrounded by majestic mountains and stunning scenery. These mountains are also home to a variety if birds, some of which are rare, such as the Orange breasted Rockjumper, rarely found at altitudes below 2,400m. Others, such as the Bearded Vulture are also found in these parts.
These mountains are also the headwaters of the Kraai river, a major tributary of the Orange river. The Kraai river is fed by the Bell river, bokspruit and riflespruit. These rivers and streams abound with indigenous fish species, such as the Smallmouth Yellowfish, which live side by side with Rainbow Trout first introduced in the 1920’s to these waters.
The Naude’s Nek Pass is the highest mountain pass in South Africa(gravel road). It is 2,500 m on the edge of the escarpment and at a point 21km from Rhodes is 2,740m above sea-level. It was built between 1890 and 1911 by the Naude brothers, Stephanus and Gabriel, allowing farmers access between their properties on either side of the escarpment. At the foot of the Naude’s Nek Pass, a monument has been erected to commemorate this brave endeavor. Direct ancestors of these brothers still farm in the area to this day. The other purpose of the construction of this Pass, was for military purposes, connecting MaClear with Lundeansnek, allowing troop movement along the Southern Borders of Lesotho.