When Johannesburg city slickers head out for the weekend, they usually make for the playgrounds of the North West Province located en-route to the Botswana border. Not far from Johannesburg lies the Hartebeespoort Dam, a popular weekend water sport and adventure destination surrounded by the beautiful Magaliesberg Mountains.
The Taung Heritage site is set in an ancient limestone valley. Fresh pools surrounded by limestone cliffs and dramatic caves are the perfect setting for hikers, climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. The area is most famous for the discovery of the Taung child, an ancient skull providing significant clues to the origins of man. Hikers, canoeists and white water rafters will also enjoy the Vredefort Dome site, created by a massive meteorite that plunged to earth some 3,000 million years ago.
The jewel in the crown of the North West is the Sun City Resort complex. Undoubtedly one of the architectural wonders of Africa is the opulent Palace of The Lost City Hotel, ringed with man-made lakes, forests and even a tropical beach with perfect surfing waves (electrically generated!). The adjoining Sun City Resort Complex is a luxury theme park for grown-up kids offering everything from casino glitz, to great shows or world-class golf. And right next door enjoy big 5 game experiences in the Pilansberg Game Reserve set in the crater of a long extinct volcano.
For a superb malaria-free Safari, head north to the 75,000-hectare Madikwe Game Reserve. Huge volcanic intrusions, Inselbergs, provide a dramatic backdrop for this reserve formed in 1991 as a unique collaboration between the State, the private sector and local communities. Madikwe offers game viewing in a wonderful setting, with an excellent mix of safari accommodation on offer, from family bush retreats to lavish 5-star luxury.