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Getaways in the North West
1Sun City and the Palace of the Lost City
With its Valley of the Waves water theme park, video-game arcades, world-class casino, Superbowl entertainment complex, crocodile pool and world-famous Gary Player golf course, this is a peerless one-stop entertainment complex.
You'll need to include an overnight stay to adequately explore the scenic Magaliesberg area which lies an hour from Pretoria and Johannesburg. With a host of outdoor adventure activities and spa experiences on offer, combined with a selection of superb country hotels, what more could you want?
3The Madikwe Game Reserve
This massive expanse of semi-desert has been transformed from poor farmland into a malaria-free wilderness area that supports a healthy wildlife population including the Big 5. Birding is equally enjoyable at Madikwe and the reserve is dotted with many top-notch bush lodges.
4The Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Situated in an ancient volcanic crater, this well-stocked reserve offers visitors the full safari experience with game drives, local guides, elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, rhino, wild dog, brown hyena and sable antelope.
Explore the sights around the Hartbeespoort Dam before checking into your luxury lodge for dinner. Awaken before dawn to take to the skies in a hot-air balloon and soar over the majestic Magaliesberg, taking in the animals and scenery from a silent and unique vantage point.
6Mountain Sanctuary Park Nature Reserve
You'll be hard pressed to find such a variety of adventure opportunities in one place. This is a great spot for hiking, mountain biking, swimming in natural rock pools, bird watching, rock climbing, abseiling, exploring, walking and braaing (barbequing) under the stars. Plan to spend the weekend camping or stay in a rustic log cabin.
A farming area whose old-world village is worth exploring for its arts, crafts, eccentric artists and mampoer (peach brandy), particularly in October when it hosts the Bosman Festival, honouring author Herman Charles Bosman.
Hartbeespoort Dam is a welcome oasis in the hotter, drier northwestern part of the country. This massive inland 'sea' offers water sports, golfing, wildlife viewing, adventure sports, fishing, natural history, shopping, and a choice of dining and overnight options.
9Mount Grace Country House and Spa
This elegant country hotel in the Magaliesberg, an hour’s drive from either Pretoria or Johannesburg, promises a holistic country experience with its lush gardens, well-appointed rooms and gracious service. Be sure to book a couple of treatments at the hotel’s award-winning spa.
10Orient Boutique Hotel, outside Brits
A 40-minute drive from Pretoria/Johannesburg brings visitors to a palatial Middle Eastern style oasis in the bush where antelope and zebra graze freely. Enjoy its award-winning fine dining and exotic interiors that take their cue from Moroccan and Indian decor style.