Explore the history of the Batswana people on the Taung Heritage Route

Here are some suggestions for activities and attractions in the North West that your guests might be interested in. It is important to be knowledgeable about attractions in your area – if you recommend something that your guests really enjoy, it will make their day.

The North West province features leading wildlife destinations (the Pilanesberg Game Reserve and the Madikwe Game Reserve); parts of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Vredefort Dome and the Taung Fossil Site, which is part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site); and the Sun City gaming and entertainment resort.

Cultural experiences

Most visitors love cultural experiences, and it pays to know about those in your area.

Here are some examples of what guests could do:

Scenic beauty

View over Hartbeespoort Dam

Many tourists look forward to enjoying the natural beauty of our country. Make sure you can point them to the most picturesque spots.

Here are just a few examples of what guests could see:

  • Hartbeespoort Dam is not only a sight for sore eyes, but has plenty of outdoor activities, making it a popular weekend getaway for many
  • Wander the Magalies Meander and browse the art galleries, arts and craft centres, and interesting boutiques on offer
  • The N12 Treasure Route offers visitors a chance to see goldfields, a meteorite impact crater, historic cities and a significant archaeological heritage site; among many other things

Wildlife viewing

The Secretary Bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, is one of the birds you might see near Rustenburg

South Africa is famed for its wildlife. Our land is home to many, diverse creatures, many of which tourists will have never seen before, and which they probably haven't seen in the wild.

The majority of visitors to South Africa can't wait to go on a safari or game drive, so make sure you know where they can do this.

Here are a couple of examples of where guests could go:

  • Visit Madikwe Game Reserve, where visitors can view game and have a choice of more than 20 game lodges – in which most are five-star
  • Predator World, in the Pilanesberg, is where visitors have an opportunity to see many of Africa's predatory species at close quarters
  • Glen Afric offers unique wildlife encounters; you can meet the wild animal stars of various South African television series such as Wild at Heart, local movies (such as Mr Bones) and the odd advertisement.
  • Go birding in Rustenburg, where there are over 340 bird species at Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve, north-east of Rustenburg
  • Hartbeespoort Dam Snake & Animal Park has an assortment of lions, snakes, seals, chimps and many other fascinating animals that live there

Culture and lifestyle

A man in traditional garb at the Gaabo Motho cultural village

  • Visitors can experience natural wonders at the Taung Heritage Site, part of the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. It was here, in 1924, that the 2.5-million-year-old fossilised skull of a hominid child was revealed. The skull was identified as belonging to an early hominid, or ancient human ancestor, and was named Australopithecus africanus, or 'southern ape of Africa'.
  • At the Gaabo Motho cultural village, visitors can experience the war dance of the Zulu, ask questions to a sangoma (traditional healer), and sleep in a patterned Ndebele hut. This cultural village in the North West will engage tourists in a multicultural experience.
  • Herman Charles Bosman is widely regarded as South Africa's greatest short-story writer. He studied the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain and developed a style emphasising the use of satire. Guests can literally visit the context of his stories in the charming town of Groot Marico and experience the silence of this space, where time seems to stand still. They can also dine on diverse cuisine.
  • The Mphebatho Cultural Museum near Sun City and its sister, the Phuthadikobo Museum in Botswana, are community-owned repositories that preserve and document the way of life of the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela people. Travellers can find out more about a traditional African way of life by visiting these museums.
  • Mahikeng, the capital city of North West, means ‘the place among rocks’, and refers to the volcanic rocks that provided shelter to Stone Age humans. It is a place that has experienced strife – the Difaqane, a period of conflict between ethnic communities, and the Anglo Boer War to name only two. Visit the Mahikeng Museum to find out more about the area.

Action adventure

Those in need of adventure will find the North West an ideal destination. The Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg mountain range offer a range of adventure activities.

Harties, as it is known, has become a popular weekend water-sports and adventure hub, particularly as it is just an hour or so drive from the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Activities enjoyed here include windsurfing, parasailing, waterskiing, jet-skiing, ferryboat cruises, fishing, ballooning and golf.

Here are some other adventure options in the North West:

  • Go hiking in Magaliesberg's Mountain Sanctuary Park and swim in the glorious Tonquani rock pools.
  • Drive off-road at the Gerotek Trail. Vehicles can be hired on site.
  • Zipline at the Ama Zwing Zwing Zipline Tour.
  • Go white-water rafting, tubing and canoeing at the Crocodile River.
  • Divers can experience an underwater wonder at Wondergat. Wondergat is a dolomite sinkhole where a vast underwater cave network lures divers to unspoilt waters – this is the deepest natural hole in the interior of South Africa.

Lap of luxury

The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City

  • Guests can experience luxury in the North West at Sun City’s opulent Palace of the Lost City. Sun City also offers the Valley of the Waves water park, a casino, restaurants and host of entertainment options for all ages.
  • The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is South Africa's fourth biggest, and lies in the caldera of a 1.3-billion-year-old extinct volcano. It offers a number of luxury bush lodges, Big Five safaris and access to hot-air ballooning.
  • The Big Five Madikwe Game Reserve also offers a number of luxury options. Guests can try the Royal Madikwe, which promises ‘an unforgettable luxury experience for families or friends seeking to soak up the splendour of the African bush’. It has been recognised in the World Luxury Hotel Awards as the world’s best luxury game lodge, and visitors rave about its rooms overlooking a fantastic waterhole, the service, food and game drives.

If you are interested in reading about more attractions in the North West, visit the South African Tourism website.

Guests also appreciate having an idea of what there is to do in other areas, so find out where they are going next and offer some ideas for what they might like to do when they get there.