Groot Marico’s Art Factory
Did you know?
Groot Marico is 1 of the few places in South Africa where a manual telephone exchange still operates.
The Art Factory in Groot Marico is a well-known landmark in the small North West town. For it is here, in a sprawling old homestead on the main street, that members of the local community have been producing beautiful, culturally inspired arts and crafts for nearly 20 years.
The house is also home to the town’s information centre and book shop. Visitors are always given a warm welcome at the Art Factory, since their support of local artists helps to sustain the community as a whole.
The operation has been running efficiently for nearly 20 years, and is conducted purely on a voluntary basis, which is testament to the dedication of the crafters and the quality of their workmanship.
Born out of a need to train local women in needlework techniques, today the Art Factory proudly displays an array of items for sale, including paintings, sculptures, needlework, traditional Afrikaans ‘laslappiewerk’ (embroidery), traditional musical instruments such as drums, wrought-iron work, beadwork, leather work, jewellery, home-made jams, and locally brewed brandy known as ‘mampoer’.
The factory is packed full of items that make ideal mementoes to take home. (Remember to consult the factory manager, a local artist himself, who will be happy to advise you and share a little of his personal philosophy.)
Keeping true to the South African belief that ‘local is lekker’ (local is nice), only local artists and crafters from within the North West province are allowed to exhibit, with particular preference for those from Groot Marico itself.
Even if you’re just passing through Groot Marico, set aside a little time to explore this quaint town, which is famous for the Eye of Marico, a 17m-deep body of clean, pure water, and for a number of South African War (also known as the Anglo-Boer War) sites.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Groot Marico Tourism Information Centre
Tel: +27 (0)83 272 2958
Fax: +27 (0)866 100 315
How to get here
From the N4, take the Groot Marico turn-off. Continue for 800m and on your left you will see a large stone with signage directing you to the Art Factory.
Best time to visit
Open all day, seven days a week.
Around the area
Groot Marico is located adjacent to a dam and river of the same name. The Eye of Marico is a popular diving, swimming and camping spot.
Tours to do
Groot Marico is one of the few places in South Africa where you can take part in a mampoer tour. See how this local beverage is distilled and taste the finished product.
If you can, visit the Madikwe Game Reserve, an excellent Big Five reserve close to the Botswana border, that is known for its luxury camps.
Self-drive is your best option.
Length of stay
If you visit Groot Marico, make it a weekend stay since there are often activities on for guests and it's a quaint little town.
Where to stay
The tourism office in Groot Marico takes accommodation bookings for 32 establishments in town. Facilities include camp sites, farmhouses, river chalets and luxury game farms.
Every September heralds the arrival of the Spring music weekend. Visit the Herman Charles Bosman Museum, built in tribute to a living legend who published more than 100 stories about local Marico characters.
The Bosman Festival, held in October, is honoured by national and international guests who arrive in town to celebrate Bosman’s contribution to South African literature. Live performances, workshops, excellent food, good music, film shows and more are on offer.
Locally produced arts and crafts.