This story was updated on 6 December 2018.
For those who aren’t planning to venture too far from home over the upcoming holiday season, the North West offers a variety of memorable accommodation and entertainment experiences just a stone’s throw from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
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JHB: 3 h 36 min | Pretoria: 3 h 34 min
Who wouldn’t love spending the day surrounded by serene, virtually untouched nature and a wide variety of wildlife?
The Mafikeng Game Reserve features 4,600 hectares of open grassland and acacia thorn scrub and is conveniently located just a short drive from a variety of local restaurants and resorts. Scout for buffalo, gemsbok, giraffe and even the endangered white rhino on the open plains. There are also designated picnic and braai areas to be enjoyed, as well as a series of entertainment lapas which can be booked out for the day.
JHB: 3 h 42 min | Pretoria: 3 h 33 min
Mmabatho Palms Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort is the perfect escape for couples, friends and families looking to live it up oasis style this festive season. Located in the historic town of Mafikeng, next to the Leopard Creek Golf Course, Mmabatho Palms offers a relaxing, tranquil resort experience just a short drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria. Enjoy a few nights in the lap of luxury at the four-star Peermont Walmont hotel, indulge in exquisite cuisine at the resort’s chic Motswedi Terrace Restaurant, and enjoy a pamper session fit for royalty at the Palms Retreat Spa and Fitness Centre.
JHB: 1 h 23 min | Pretoria: 35 min
Harties Cableway attracts visitors from all over the country year-round, and is the longest mono cableway in Africa, offering a splendid full day family outing not far from Gauteng. Enjoy panoramic views of Magaliesberg, Hartbeespoort Dam and surrounds as the spacious, safe and secure cable cars journey up the mountain.
Once you reach the top, grab a pizza and a beer at the mountaintop restaurant, wander along the Dassie Loop walkway or let the kids run free in the KidZone while mum and dad enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation in one of the many bomas available on site. Tickets are R195 for adults, and R115 for children between four and 14 years old. Children under four enter for free.
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JHB: 1 h 22 min | Pretoria: 46 min
The Monkey Sanctuary in Hartbeespoort is one of a series of animal sanctuaries in North West that provide a home for orphaned or abused monkeys from around the world, as well as squirrels and various species of spiders.
Many of the sanctuary’s inhabitants are rescue animals that were previously raised as household pets or bred for the pet trade, and come to the sanctuary to be rehabilitated and reintroduced into the wild. It’s a great destination for parents hoping to add a full day family activity to their holiday itineraries and offers guided tours through an enchanting natural enclosure that features a stunning waterfall, lush vegetation and natural mountain springs.
Ticket prices range depending on the activities visitors would like to engage in, and proceeds from ticket sales go towards ensuring the sanctuary’s sustainability.
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JHB: 1 h 55 min | Pretoria: 1 h 13 mina uniq
Here’s a fun outdoor activity perfect for the whole family! The Magalies Canopy Tour offers a unique eco-adventure just a short drive from the city, taking visitors on a zipline journey of discovery into the second oldest mountain range in the world.
The tour is suitable for people of all ages, sizes and fitness levels, with expert tour guides available to offer safety advice and information about the various animals and plant species along the way. The tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours, and includes refreshments as well as a certificate for being brave enough to participate.