The town is located by the Elands River, 69 km from the town of Zeerust, 56 km west of the city of Rustenburg and 34 km north-west of Koster.

It takes its name ‘Swartruggens’ from a series of hills there, Afrikaans for ‘black ridges’, formerly known as Zwartruggens.


The town of Swartruggens was founded in 1875 on the farm Brakfontein.

After the Siege of Mafeking, during the Second Anglo-Boer War, one of the supply depots established by Robert Baden-Powell as he moved towards Pretoria was in Swartruggens.

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