Mahikeng's main claim to fame is the fact that Robert Baden-Powell, who would become well-known as the founder of the scouting movement, defended the city ingenuously during a siege (in 1899–1900, in the Second Boer War), by making his defending force appear larger than it really was. The 217-day siege was followed in the British press, making B-P a national hero and his book on (military) scouting a best-seller among boys. When he later founded the scouting movement, he wrote Scouting for Boys.
The town has many resorts, popular around the summer season.
The weather is highly changeable, fluctuating between continental and equatorial climates.
- 1 Mafikeng Game Reserve (just east of Mahikeng). You can see rhinoceroses, giraffes, gemsboks, buffaloes, wildebeests and springboks in this 46 sq km park of Kalahari and acacia bushveld.
- 2 Botsalano Game Reserve (via N18/R503 (about 48 km north of Mahikeng)). Bushveld and acacia and karee woodland where a lot of rhinos and antelope are found, as well as 200 bird species.
- 1 Ocean Basket Mafikeng, Shop No. 2, The Crossing Centre Mall, Nelson Mandela Dr. 11:00-21:00 daily. Good seafood.
- 1 Protea Hotel by Marriott Mahiken, 80 Nelson Mandela Dr, Libertas, ☏ . Restaurant, pool, spa. Quite elegant. R 1077.
- 2 Sedikwa Guesthouse, Riviera Park, ☏ . Really nice pool. Very clean and spacious guesthouse. R663.