Tip For Trip - North West
North West is blessed with several cultural villages that entertain and enrich. A number of excellent game reserves have been established, including the Pilanesberg National Park, known as the ‘Jewel of the North West’. It is set in a crater on an extinct volcano and is home to the Big Five as well as a wide variety of smaller game and birds.
The historic route of Mafikeng
includes an Anglo-Boer/South African War siege site, the Molema House where Sol Plaatje lived while writing his Mafikeng Diary, and the Mafikeng Museum. The Lichtenburg Game-Breeding Centre and the Botsalano Game Reserve are well worth a visit. The Groot Marico region is known as mampoer country and visitors can embark on a mampoer route. The Kortkloof Cultural Village is dedicated to the Tswana people. Other attractions include the Wondergat; the Bosbult Monument, which commemorates a battle fought during the Anglo-Boer/South African War; the Kaditshwene Iron Age Village Ruins; and various hiking trails.
The Hartbeespoort Dam is a popular spot for weekend outings, breakfast runs and yachting. The Hartbeespoort Reptile and Animal Park is situated on the banks of the dam. Cultural experiences in the area include the popular Mapoch and Gaabo Motho cultural villages as well as the Ring Wagon Inn. The De Wildt Cheetah-Breeding and Research Centre specialises in breeding cheetah and other endangered wildlife species. Other places of interest include the Borakalalo Game Reserve, the Margaret Roberts Herb Farm and the Phaladingwe Nature Trail. There are several golf courses in the area.
The Taung skull fossil site and the blue pools are renowned for the Taung skull found in the Buxton quarries. In July 2005, the World Heritage Committee declared the Taung skull fossil site an extension of the Sterkfontein fossil hominid site. This region is popular with adventure-seekers-especially the 4x4 routes and hunting farms.
The Pilanesberg National Park supports more than 7 000 head of game and 350 bird species. The 60 000-ha Madikwe Game Reserve is home to 66 large mammal species. Over 10 000 animals of 27 major species have been reintroduced under Operation Phoenix. A hot-air balloon ride, day and night game drives, and bushwalks are available. Sun City and the Palace of the Lost City are very popular tourist attractions offering gambling, golf, extravaganza shows, watersport and an artificial sea. There are various hiking trails in the region. The Heritage Route starts at the Sterkfontein Caves World Heritage Site and ends at Pilanesberg.
The OPM Prozesky Bird Sanctuary in Potchefstroom
has over 200 bird species and is situated adjacent to the Mooi River. The Oudorp Hiking Trail
takes visitors through the old part of Klerksdorp
where 12 Voortrekker families settled. Other attractions in the region include the Potchefstroom Lakeside Resort, the Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve in Klerksdorp, mine tours at Orkney
, the Diggers Route at Wolmaransstad
and the Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve.
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