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North West

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JJust up the road from Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Magaliesberg Mountain Range stretches across two of our provinces – Gauteng and the North West. It’s a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, where you can enjoy plenty of adventures and make unique and unusual memories.

These mountains formed more than two billion years ago, making them nearly 100 times older than Mount Everest, but don’t let their age fool you – walking through their valleys, hiking up their cliffs and cooling off by their waterfalls will keep you young at heart.

Did You Know?
TThe Fairy elephant’s foot, a succulent with vivid pink flowers and leaves, is endemic to the Magaliesberg Mountains.

IIt all begins near the Bronkhorstspruit Dam in the east and then extends 120km to Rustenburg in the west. This 2300-million-year-old mountain range supports a variety of different habitats from grasslands and bushveld savannah to inaccessible forested kloofs with over 130 tree species and an astounding variety of flowers, ferns, grasses and fungi. In 1977, this area was officially named a protected natural environment.

The Magaliesberg Mountains

TThe mountains were once home to roaming elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, giraffes, large cats and a variety of antelope, but today it's the smaller species that are likely to be seen. Porcupines, bushbabies and mongooses roam the forest, along with Vervet monkeys, Duikers, Genets, baboons and klipspringers. Leopards also stalk these lands, but their shyness and ability to camouflage means they're seldom seen during the day.

If you’re a bird watcher, the mountains also have something for you. Over 300 somethings – as there are over 300 bird species that call the area home, including the nesting Cape vultures and Verreaux's eagles, as well as Jackal Buzzards, falcons and swifts. During winter, flowering red aloes attract dazzling sunbirds, while the summer warmth lures migrating storks. You'll also be able to tick off Starlings, Robins, Cuckoos, Barbets, owls and many other bird species.

The mountain range is a wonderful retreat for humans too, with deep gullies and clear waterfalls creating the perfect conditions for climbers and hikers. Many trails ranging from gentle walks to hardcore hikes allow for leisurely exploration, while mountain biking, horse riding, abseiling and even white-water rafting call to the more adventurous.

Rich in geology, biodiversity and human heritage, there are plans to have the Magaliesberg Mountains declared a UNESCO biosphere, as this will ensure the preservation of this ancient natural treasure for future generations.

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