North West Province
The North West Province of South Africa is bordered by Botswana in the North, on the south by the Free State and the Northern Cape provinces, and on the northeast and east by the Limpopo and Gauteng provinces. The North West Province has a land mass of some 118,797 sq km with an estimated population of around 4 million people.
Over much of the province, flat areas of scattered trees and grassland can be seen. The North West is a peaceful province with a year round, sunny climate, exciting wildlife destinations free of malaria and various cultural and historical attractions.
Within the province lies the famous Sun City leisure resort offering a host of activities ranging from world-class golfing, gambling, games, extravaganzas, a valley of waves with a beach, cinemas and restaurants. Sun City is the world renowned Kingdom of Pleasure.
Other popular destinations in this province are: Hartebeesport Dam, Madikwe Game Reserve, Mafikeng Capital City, Pilanesberg National Park, Taung Heritage Site and Vredefort Dome.
Hartebeesport Dam - the Dam, with its spectacular scenery and proximity to Johannesburg and Pretoria, is the principal water recreation area of Northern Gauteng.
Madikwe Game Reserve - Madikwe is regarded as one of the finest conservation areas in Africa, offering all the major species, including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, both white and black rhino along with almost all the plains antelope species.
Mafikeng Capital City - situated next to Mmabatho, the vibrant provincial capital of the North West Province and has an interesting history, rich culture and wildlife variety.
Pilanesberg National Park - situated inside the eroded crater of a long-extinct volcano in the North-West Province, Pilanesberg is a sanctuary for various kinds of game and is the successful conclusion to one of the largest game-stocking operations in South Africa.
Taung Heritage Site - dedicated to the discovery of the skull belonging to an early hominid, named "Australopithecus africanus" meaning the "southern ape of Africa".
Vredefort Dome - the oldest and largest meteorite impact site in the world, formed an estimated 2000 million years ago when a gigantic meteorite (asteroid) hit the earth.
There are so many exciting outdoor activities to experience in the North West, such as bird watching, game viewing, fishing, hiking, 4x4 trails, rock climbing, warm weather water sport and picnicking.
The different regions within this province are Bojanala Region, Bophirima Region, Central Region and Southern Region.
Bojanala East is situated close to Gauteng, and is the most scenic region of the province. It is covered in natural bushveld vegetation. With the added attraction of the Magaliesberg, this region has much to offer to the eco-tourist. It is a netural game area with a number of fine game parks. There is a large variety of historical and cultural interest to be found in the area, such as the German community and Kroondal that dates back to 1857, the indigenous Bafokeng, Bakgatla and Botswana tribes with their totemic and other tribal traditions.
Bophirima is the western region of the North West Province. Getting closer to nature is the main focus of this region, which was formerly known as Stellaland. The principal town, Vryburg, is the centre of a large agricultural district which has all the modern conveniences. However moving out of the town and into the real Bophirima will provide a uniquely relaxing break from modern life. The larger part of the region is still commonly known as Stellaland. The region is also affectionately known as "The Texas of South Africa" given its strong mining and agricultural economy.
The Central Region borders on Botswana. It is home to Mafikeng, capital of the province. Aptly named, the slogan of the capital is 'The City of Goodwill'. It is a rapidly growing, modern, residential, administrative and commercial town, that contrasts with its fascinating history. The area is fairly flat and dry in the west, becoming bushveld towards the east. The Central Region offers game viewing - including the Big 5 - bird watching, hunting, fishing, sport, hospitality, conference facilities, shopping, gaming, Anglo-Boer War sites and a number of excellent guest houses and guest farms.
The Southern Region borders the Free State in the south and Gauteng to the west. It is an infinitive tapestry of green maize and yellow sunflower fields, alternated with bushveld plains, dotted with wild olive and umbrella thorn trees. An outdoor adventurer's paradise, offering hiking trails, mountain biking trails, canoeing, white water rafting, mountain climbing, abseiling. Lodges along the Vaal River afford some of the best angling and fly fishing opportunities in South Africa.