Not far from Hartbeespoort lies Chameleon Village, a melting pot of craft outlets, pubs, restaurants, outdoor and trailer goods, a decor warehouse, a tattoo parlour, a reptile park, handcrafted items, African curios, shoes, bags, new-age goodies and lots more.

Did you know?

In 2010, the UK's David Jones set a new world record at Chameleon Village’s reptile park with a 121-day sit-in with 40 deadly snakes.

A wealth of retail therapy awaits at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountains at Chameleon Village, South Africa’s largest indoor market.

Chameleon Village acts as a collective for handcrafted products from all over South Africa. In addition to the many African curios to be found here, 800m2 of space is dedicated to the country’s skilled craftsmen and craftswomen.

From beautifully designed jewellery to aromatherapy products, candles, knitted goods, folk art, cards, decorations, paper craft, quilting, stitch craft and scrap-booking supplies, there’s something for everyone.

You can tend to your holistic and spiritual needs with a tarot card reading, an iridology session, and dietary and nutritional advice; or you can stock up on your incense, ornamental angels and more in the tranquil garden area behind the restaurants.

Those who want to take a break from all the shopping can pop into the Chameleon Brewhouse, where five craft beers and a cider are waiting on tap. Team your brew with a tasty cheese platter or sausage basket.

There's also an outdoor and trailer world, 1 500m2 housing everything to do with life in the great outdoors.

A wide variety of exclusive furniture and décor items are displayed in a thatched building to the left of the main entrance. Here 28 independent shops feature artwork, mosaics, woodcraft, paintings, lampshades, lanterns, grandfather clocks, furniture and more eclectic items for your home.

A row of formal shops include a tattoo parlour, a copper art outlet, an internationally acclaimed art gallery, a gaming and DVD store, and shops selling cellphones, leather jackets, shoes, bags, sweets and clothing.

The kiddies will love spending time at the reptile park where lizards and snakes – mambas, vipers, cobras, pythons, adders and constrictors – are on display. The park also features crocodiles, porcupines, birds, monkeys and hyenas. Educational talks and eco talks are included, and picnics may be enjoyed here too.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Chameleon Village
Tel: +27 (0)12 253 1451
Email: james@chameleonvillage.co.za

How to get here

From Johannesburg, take Malibongwe Drive north. This becomes the R512. Keep following the R512 until the T-junction. Turn left (the road is still the R512) and keep following the R512. Take a right turn (on to the R512) to cross over the dam, and then turn right on to the R560. From the R560, turn left on to the R104. Chameleon Village is 2km west of the Hartbeespoort Dam wall on the R104.

Around the area

The nearby Magalies Meander incorporates arts and crafts outlets, fishing, horse riding, hiking, mountain biking, health and wellness, restaurants, shopping, country lodges, game lodges, hotels, resorts and more.

Tours to do

Discounted packages are available for large tour groups.

What will it cost

Entrance is free.

Length of stay

You could easily spend a whole morning or afternoon here and enjoy a meal too.

What to eat

Tucked away in the shade of an indigenous forest, a host of restaurants cater for all, from halaal to Italian, Chinese, burgers and grills. There's also a coffee bar and a funky pub.