Magoebaskloof takes its name from Makgoba, chief of the Tlou people.

Magoebaskloof is one of the country’s most spectacular scenic drives. The story of the ravine is one of resolute resistance by Chief Makgoba and his Tlou (Tlau) tribe against taxes and relocation imposed by the Transvaal government. Makgoba’s people had occupied the area for centuries and he resisted when the Transvaal tax collectors called. Matters came to a head when the government announced plans to move the tribe to another location. Makgoba refused to move, arguing that he could not leave the graves of his ancestors.

When the government in 1894 sent a punitive force to the area, all tribes capitulated except Makgoba who fled into the forest. In 1895 the government sent in a commando of 800 burgers and about 6 000 tribesmen, mostly Swazi. Swazi warriors tracked Makgoba down and beheaded him and presented his head as proof of his death. During this long period of conflict the name Makgoba was corrupted to Magoeba.