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Marico Matters: The Source

'Standing in the evening sunlight gazing across piles of junk Pop sighed loudly and with such content that the sound seemed to travel with perfect definition across the surrounding fields of buttercup and may. "Perfick", Pop said,"You couldn't wish for nothing more perfick nowhere"

The Darling Buds of May' - HE Bates

There are two entrances to Kaaloog aka the Marico Eye and both of them are on private property. The one that I know well belonged to a true gentleman named Mr Hannes Palm who had fashioned a convoluted walkway through the reeds from bits of old carpet atop rusty sheets of sinkplaat tied to bobbing tyres which led me on to a rusty platform with an astonishing crystal clear pool of water at the end of it. Mr Palm presented me with a water lily and cut a straw from its stem so that I could quench my thirst in the blistering sun with the icy, pure, sweet water from this major source of the Groot Marico River. Swimming in the pristine eye with turquoise and scarlet dragonflies for company is joyful, healing and awe inspiring.

Here are the facts: Unique karst systems have formed in the North West Province from the chemical weathering of dolomite and give rise to unique landscape and ecosystem features known as dolomitic eyes or springs which have unique biodiversity. Geographic isolation results in high levels of speciation.

The Marico Eye is one of these, but what makes the Marico Eye very special is its size - it is large -17m deep and 40m wide - and its natural state. It is unspoilt.

The local and national importance of the Marico Eye cannot be underestimated, as well as the value of the water for agricultural and domestic use. This is also a very popular destination for scuba divers and has featured in many dive magazines.

The hardest of hearts and most jaded of travellers melt when they gaze into this natural treasure and are moved to protect it. The drive up to the eye through dry veld is not picturesque, so this contrast with the sparkling eye is even more astonishing. Truly you couldn't wish for nothing more perfick nowhere.

It is quite simply Marico Magic!

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