Top 10: Getaways in the North West

Mount Grace Spa Mount Grace Spa - luxury country retreat

1 Stay at Sun 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. more

2 Do the Magaliesberg Meander

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? more

3 Go on safari in the 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. more

4 See the Big Five at 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. more

5 Go hot-air ballooning in Pilanesberg

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. more

6 Spend time in the Mountain 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. more

7 Taste mampoer in Groot Marico

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. more

8 Have fun at Hartbeespoort Dam

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. more

9 Chill out at Mount 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. more

10 Pamper yourself at the Orient 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.