Every avid detectorist is always on the lookout for new spots to go detecting. As the metal detecting hobby is becoming more popular in South Africa there are fewer and fewer virgin places left. In this post we look at the best places to metal detect in South Africa.
Fellow detectorists are very hesitant and cagey about sharing new detecting spots especially those where they get good finds. Therefore finding out where the best places are to metal detect in South Africa is not that obvious. With a bit of research, applying some common knowledge and with a bit of luck, you can find your own virgin detecting spot rich in finds.
Beach Detecting in South Africa
If you live close to the beach then you will definitely do well to go metal detecting on the beach and in the surf.
We are lucky in South Africa with our warm summer weather and many long sandy beaches which attract thousands of beachgoers a day. This makes for the perfect place to go metal detecting.
As beachgoers unpack and pack up their beachwear and belongings they often spill their valuables and coins into the sand. Ever tried finding a coin you have dropped into the sand? It is almost impossible.
Those that do not remove their rings and jewellery, and enter into the water, do so at risk of losing their rings and jewellery. You have probably noticed when spending time in the water that the skin on your fingers shrivels up, well the same happens to bathers in the seawater. When their fingers are wet, slippery and all shrivelled up their rings are then loose on the finger and it is at this time that many lose their expensive gold and diamond rings.
Detecting on the beach is therefore very rewarding. Choose a beach that is popular with beachgoers and if you can hunt in the evening just after the bathers have left the beach. Another good time to find old gold is after a storm and the sea sand has shifted. Look for areas where the sand has been washed away exposing that grey and black sand which is known to produce old gold rings and jewellery.
Metal Detecting Old Boer Sites and Ox Wagon Outspan Areas
South Africa has a rich history dating back to when our forefathers would travel the country by Ox Wagon. These treks would take days and weeks to complete. They would frequent the same ox wagon trails and stopover at common Outspan Areas where Voortrekkers may have congregated.
By doing some basic research you can discover these Treasure Hot Spots which are rich in Boer artefacts and Boer war relics. When doing your research the internet is a good source for historical records and provides information about historical spots of interest. Try search for old maps which show these routes and outspan areas.
Remember you are not permitted to metal detect at National Monuments such as old Boer War Forts. Make sure you are allowed to detect the area first.
Farms Make For Good Metal Detecting
Farms are great places to go metal detecting. Most are old, having been around for many years and they are great for finding old coins, relics and bullets. You will also find lots of junk iron, prepare yourself for that or turn on your iron discrimination.
A good tip is to search for old trees where farmers or labourers may have rested under the shade. These spots are rich in coins and old relics.
Look for traces of former homesteads on the farm and outbuildings. You will find lots of junk but your finds will be varied and you can expect to also find buttons, buckles, coloured bottles and pottery.
Make sure you get permission from the farm owner first. Never enter private land and go metal detecting without express permission.
Detecting on Construction Sites
If ever you see earth being dug up your interest should immediately be sparked. If you come across a new construction site go grab your detector. Actually, you must first get permission from the site manager and then go grab your detector.
When builders dig out the foundations for a new building they are potentially pulling out old coins, relics and other treasures that may have been buried too deep for a detector. Look for the dirt mounds and swing your detector over. If they are removing the soil off-site it is a good idea to check the soil pile each time they take a load away, leaving you with a fresh level of soil to hunt.
Detecting in the foundations are off-limits as you will destroy the builder’s hard work and you may degrade the integrity of the foundation.
Permission to Metal Detect
Always seek permission in order to metal detect in South Africa if you plan on detecting on private land. Remember it is forbidden to detect on National Monument sites.