Did you know?
Taung means 'the place of the lion' and is named after Tau, once chief of the local Bataung people.
The N12 Treasure Route forms part of the national road network and was devised to introduce visitors to attractions in the North West province, including goldfields, a meteorite impact crater, historic cities and a significant archaeological heritage site.
Starting at Fochville, visit The Borehole, the beautifully landscaped Piet Viljoen Park, Renosterfontein’s Tswana village and the Thlokwe Ruins. Find the Theron Memorial and, just south of it, the site of an early Voortrekker fortification. There’s also a bird farm and trout hatchery.
Move on to Potchefstroom, former capital of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR), where historical museums, national monuments, a large army base, a beautiful church with stained-glass windows, the Buffelsvlei Game Park, OPM-Prozesky Bird Sanctuary and the Boskop Dam Nature Reserve are worth visiting.
In Stilfontein, at the Hartebeestfontein Gold Mine, jump at the chance to see gold being poured, or sign up for a tour of the Stilfontein Mine or try a quick nine holes at the Stilfontein Golf Club.
Next is Klerksdorp, where, in 1886, thousands of prospectors arrived in search of fortune. Today the town boasts the second-largest grain co-operative in the world. Other attractions include mine tours, various historic museums, rock engravings at Bosworth Farm, horse trails, fly-fishing and the Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve for excellent birding.
South of Klerksdorp is the Vredefort Dome, a World Heritage Site and location of a meteorite strike millions of years ago. This outdoor destination offers camping, hiking, climbing, canoeing and white-water rafting.
Wolmaransstad, formerly an important postal link between Johannesburg and Kimberley, is currently an important diamond-buying centre. The Diggers’ Diamond Tour is a must-do and, for nature lovers, the Wolwespruit Nature Reserve offers scenic hiking and yellowfish angling.
When you get to Bloemhof, opt for some rest and relaxation at the Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve, indulging in game viewing and watersports.
Before leaving the N12, head north to Taung, a heritage site made world famous by Australian anthropologist Professor Raymond Dart, who unearthed the Taung skull here in 1924.