The small picturesque hamlet of Chrissiesmeer lies at the heart of South Africa's largest lake district, and houses a total of almost three hundred lakes and pans, all of which are located within a twenty kilometer radius of the village. The largest of these bodies of water, Lake Chrissie , was named after President M. W. Pretorius's talented daughter Christina, by a scottish pioneer in the area Alexander McCorkindale. McCorkindale and his wife did not have children and were very fond of Pres. M.W. Pretorius's daughter, Christina. They renamed Zeekoeipan to Miss Chrissies Lake, which later became Lake Chrissie and even later, Chrissiesmeer.
The Mpumalanga Lakes District is completely different in comparison to other pan areas in Southern Africa, as a number of the pans and lakes in the region are permanently filled, and have never been known to dry out. Two of these include Tevrede Pan and Lake Chrissie. The smaller lakes and pans in the region are oval shaped, while the larger ones, in particular Lake Chrissie which covers an area of one thousand and forty six (1046) hectares, and has a depth of roughly three meters in some places, are kidney shaped. Due to the uniqueness of these pans, the application for this system to be declared as a Ramsar site of International Importance is considered to be long overdue.
These pans provide excellent opportunities for birdwatching, and are home to an impressive total of more than one hundred and fifty various species. The region supports extremely large populations of both Lesser Flamingo and Greater Flamingo. Other species which frequent the region in large numbers include Crown Cranes, Chestnutbanded Plovers, African Marsh Harriers, Spoonbills, Grebes, Herons, and Egrets. During the wet season, total numbers of birds regularly exceed 20 000. The lake's waters and shores provide a habitat for more than 150 species of bird, including flamingos.