Before the South African War, the South African Republic (ZAR) decided to fortify Pretoria.
Four forts were completed. Fort Klapperkop was the third, erected and completed on 18 January 1898.
At 1 555 meters above sea level it is highest natural point in the City. It provides beautiful views of the City with a 360-degree view from the roof of the Fort. On a clear day you are able to see the Hillbrow Tower in Johannesburg.
The track of the Gautrain was plotted from a beacon on the roof of the Fort, through GPS and technical signals flashing between Trig Beacons, Base Stations and Satellites.
Another interesting and unusual fact about Fort Klapperkop relates to their ablution facilities. Visitors wanting to use the facilities are surprised there are none inside the Fort and that they are obliged to walk (or run) 150 meters to a house on the site. This house belonged to a Bittereinder, a member of a faction of Boer guerrilla fighters, resisting the forces of the British Empire in the later stages of the Second Boer War (1899–1902). The house was moved brick by brick from Bronkhorstspruit to Fort Klapperkop Heritage Site.
Visitors often speculated about where the soldiers stationed in the Fort went when they needed “to go”. For years no-one could give an answer as it was not noted in history books.
The mystery was solved by a game of cricket between museum personnel and friends, on the lawn in front of the Fort, a ball hit for a six disappeared into the bushes.
While searching for the ball a structure was discovered and, after some investigation it was found that it dated from the time of the occupation of the Fort. This was the ‘longdrop’ used by the soldiers.
For more information, visit the website or call +27 (0)12 346 7703.