West Rand Gauteng
Did you know?
The Magaliesberg are some of the world’s oldest mountains and are believed to be almost 100 times older than Everest.
The West Rand, Gauteng, makes up the province's most western region, extending from Johannesburg to the North West border. Hiking, walking, game viewing, bird watching and steam train rides are popular West Rand activities, while the national botanical garden and Cradle of Humankind are the biggest West Rand attractions.
The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is an absolute gem. Its complex of walks, trails, waterfalls and mountains are perfect for picnics and afternoon strolls. Visit the Witpoortjie waterfall and look for the garden's famous pair of Verreaux's Eagles soaring above the cliffs.
The region's typical highveld bush makes it ideal for game conservation. At the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve you can view a variety of animals and reptiles, and pet lion cubs. Game drives allow you to explore the surrounding bush, while the visitor facilities are great for braais (barbecues) and sundowners.
Around the corner is Kromdraai's Wonder Cave. This 2m-year-old natural phenomenon features stalactite and stalagmite formations of up to 15m. A guided day or night tour of this subterranean wonderland is recommended.
The Wonder Cave forms part of the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site, which also includes the Sterkfontein Caves. It was here that the hominid fossils, Mrs Ples and Little Foot, were discovered. These fossils are aged at 2m and 3m years old respectively and among the world's most important archaeological finds.
They speak to the existence of pre-historic man, the life of which can be explored at the nearby Maropeng Visitor Centre. Take a boat ride through time and see how man evolved with the centre's informative interactive exhibits.
Just past Maropeng is the country village of Magaliesburg. Set in picturesque mountains, this quaint town is worth a visit before following the Magalies Meander route to discover its natural and historical wonders, adventure activities and country retreats.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Gauteng Tourism Authority
Tel: +27 (0) 11 639 1600
Maropeng Visitor Centre
Tel: +27 (0) 14 577 9000
Tel: + 27 (0)14 577 1733/ 18845/6