South Africa travel information accommodation guide
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 North West Province
 
North West Introduction
 
North West Province, South Africa

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life with a visit to the North West Province, an area surrounded by natural beauty and breathtaking scenery, with rolling fields, majestic mountains, golden sunflowers and the neverending plains of African bushveld. The North West Province is bordered by Botswana in the North, the Limpopo Province and Gauteng on the northeast and eastern sides, and the Free State and Northern Cape on the South, covering an area of nearly 119 000 square kilometres. The North West Province was created in 1994 by the merger of former homeland Mophuthatswana and the western part of the former Transvaal.

A trip to the historical capital town of Mafeking is a must on any itiniary, to savour its historical and cultural significance. Visit a traditional African village at Lotlamoreng or walk in the footsteps of Paul Kruger on his farm in Boekenhoutfontein. The North West Province is also home to a number of beautiful national parks, including the largest, Pilanesberg Game Reserve, which boasts a collection of wildlife and scenic wonders including Africa's Big Five, and is set unusually in the crater of an extinct volcano. If the wonders of nature are not your thing take a trip to the world famous entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and the Lost City, to try your luck at the slots or relax on the manmade beaches. The North West Province truly offers something for everyone, and your trip will be filled with memories of wildest Africa.
 
Top Ten Attractions
 
Sun City and The Lost City
For those keen on a spot of gambling or all round entertainment, take a drive to the centre of a volcanic valley surrounded by the slopes of the Pilanesberg mountains, to this awesome Sun International resort. The complex is one of the world's foremost entertainment centres, and boasts a casino, world-class golf course and show arena. A visit to The Lost City feels like a trip through a timewarp as you experience the mystery of an ancient civilisation through the Shrine of the Sacred Monkey, the ruins of old temples and caves, the Bridge of Time and the Valley of the Waves – a perfect spot to enjoy the sun as you savour the relaxation and lap up the pampered lifestyle.
 
Madikwe Game Reserve
Madikwe is one of South Africa's largest game reserves, covering an area of 60 000 hectares, and has the impressive distinction of being one of the few reserves in the world to be proclaimed purely on the grounds of being the most appropriate and sustainable land use for an area. The reserve is home to the Big Five, as well as 61 other large mammal species, as well as an estimated 300 local and migrant bird species. Stay at one of the many excellent private lodges and enjoy night and day game viewing on comfortable land-cruisers or take a guided bush walk – the perfect way to spot the beautiful lions, rhinos or cheetahs.
 
Pilanesberg National Park
Visit this beautiful game park set in the heart of an extinct volcano, and experience a range of awesome wildlife as well as numerous Stone and Iron Age sites. Pilanesberg is in the middle of a transition zone between the dry Kalahari and the wetter lowveld region, allowing for a unique overlap of mammals, birds and vegetation, giving visitors the opportunity to view a range species. The park is also home to the Big Five, as well as the nocturnal brown hyena, the sable, the giraffe, hippo and crocodile, and a range of bird species. The Manyane Complex in the east offers a self-guided walking trail and walk-in aviary, and the park also offers a number of hides and picnic areas for those not wanting to take a guided drive.
 
Vredefort Dome
About 3, 000 million years ago a massive meteorite struck the earth, creating the crater near the present day town of Vredefort – the biggest and oldest impact sight clearly visible on earth. From the air, one can clearly see a partial ring of hills forming an arc known as the Vredefort Dome. A number of landowners in the area of joined forces to form the Dome Conservancy, which is now one of the province's main adventure tourism sites, offering a range of activities including camping, hiking, cycling, rock climbing, canoeing and white water rafting – something for everyone.
 
Mafikeng Capital City
Early Baralong Chiefs originally named this city Mahikeng, or ‘the place among the rocks', and is today a pulsating provincial and commercial capital and a prime tourist spot for its history, culture and wildlife – including the history of the Anglo Boer War, the Mafikeng Siege and the Boy Scouts. There are a number of interesting places to visit, including the Mafikeng Museum, sites linking to famous South African human rights campaigner Sol Plaatje, the cultural village at Montshiwua Dam, and the 4600 hectare Mafikeng Game Reserve.
 
Hartbeespoort Dam
Surrounded by the beauty and majesty of the Magaliesberg mountains, the Hartbeespoort Dam is a popular spot for weekends and day trips, offering a range of activities, such as windsurfing, water and jet-skiing, and parasailing, as well as hang-gliding and hot air ballooning for the more adventurous. The Hartbeespoort Dam also offers a private zoo, snake park, aquarium and cable way, as well as the scenic wonders of nature. For those wanting to add a spot of shopping, the Crocodile Ramble offers visitors the opportunity to explore the local arts and crafts route with the option of spending a night in one of the many bed and breakfast establishments.
 
Taung Heritage Site
This area is named after Tau, the chief of the Bataung people, and means ‘The Place of the Lion', and became famous in 1924 when a fossilised skull of a child was found, leading many scientists to believe that early man had his origins in Africa. The Taung site not only offers this historic significance, but flowing water over limestone cliffs into azure pools offers the perfect environment for hiking, abseiling and picnicking.
 
Mafikeng Game Reserve
Visit this 5 800 hectare malaria-free reserve, home of the white rhino, located in open Kalahari thornveld west of Mafikeng. The area is one of the most prolific antelope and white rhino breeding grounds in the North West, making it an ideal place to view these animals, as well as a range of other species, including buffalo, gemsbok and giraffe as well as 200 species of bird. As well as game drives, visitors can enjoy picnics or barbecues while they absorb the beautiful scenery, including one of the oldest volcanic craters in the world. While the area is generally mild to hot in the day, visitors are warned to dress appropriately for very cold winter nights.
 
Kgaswane (Rustenburg) Mountain Reserve
This area near the town of Rustenburg can only be described as a place of special beauty – a mountain range of immense natural appeal and the perfect place for a day trip. The reserve is home to a large population of animals, including some 800 antelope (such as klipspringer, duiker, kudu, impala, zebra and springbok), and is particularly famous for the breeding of the sable antelope. Animal lovers might also be able to spot a number of predators, such as caracal, jackal or leopard. For the more energetic the reserve offers a number of hiking spots, with beautiful natural pools to cool off in afterwards. There is also a viewing hut on the vlei, perfect for bird lovers.
 
Borakalalo National Park

This park is one of the North West's most diverse conservation areas, where visitors can walk among the many trails and enjoy the eco-diversity of the area. The 13 000 hectares of woodland and open bushveld provide perfect opportunities to enjoy the scenery on picnics or barbeques, or take in the abundance of wildlife and birds, including the elusive Eagles. The park is also a very popular fishing spot, with angling allowed on both the Klipvoor Dam and the Moretele River. Anglers will delight in trying their hand at catching carp, bream, barbell and the occasional yellowfish.

 
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