North West Province's Eastern Region
Also known as Bojanala, the Eastern Region of the North West province is covered in natural South African bushveld, making it a favourite destination for eco-tourism.
Platinum deposits in this region of the North West are colossal. Other minerals include limestone, fluorspar iron and gemstones. Agriculture centers on tobacco, citrus and other fruit, cattle, groundnuts, sunflower seeds, maize and wheat.
The most scenic area of the North West, it offers adventure sports, holiday entertainment, eco-tourism, wildlife experiences, family leisure pursuits and sports, historic exploration and the opulence and excitement of Sun City and Palace of the Lost City extravagances.
On the fringe of the Kalahari Desert, the Sun City complex is South Africa's most luxurious resort. Internationally renowned as a leisure, entertainment and conference destination, it is a fantasy world with superb recreational and accommodation facilities. With adjoining Pilansberg National Park, it is South Africa's third most visited attraction.
The Sun City complex comprises the 6000 seat Superbowl, four luxury hotels, sporting and gambling facilities and two golf courses, including the Gary Player designed Sun City Country Club, host of the annual international multi-million dollar Nedbank Golf Challenge. Accommodation ranges from self-catering cabanas and stylish high-rise hotels to the Indiana Jones inspired Palace of the Lost City. Sport and recreational activities include surfing and gigantic waterslides in the Valley of the Waves, golf, horse riding, squash, tennis, swimming, mountain biking, ten-pin bowling, parasailing, water skiing, canoeing, wind surfing, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking and the opportunity to fly over the Pilansberg Mountains in a vintage Tiger Moth.
Rustenburg (place of rest) is the oldest town in the Eastern Region of the North West province. It is a stepping off point for nearby places of interest and activity, including the village of Kroondal (crown vale), founded by Lutheran missionaries and today a centre of local German communities, and the Paul Kruger museum at Boekenhoutfontein.
The Magliesberg Mountains, a national heritage site, saw bloody battles in the 19th century during the rise of Ndebele chief Mzilikazi, as well in the Anglo Boer War. The slopes, popular for hiking trails, are dotted with holiday resorts.
The privately owned Mountain Sanctuary Park boasts bilharzias-free streams and spectacular kloofs. There is abundant birdlife and small antelope. Accommodation ranges from chalets and tented safari lodges to caravan parks and campsites.
The Kgaswane Mountain Reserve is wonderful hiking, cycling and bird watching country, with Cape vulture, martial eagle, parrots and the paradise flycatchers and the rare black eagle. Most of South Africa's antelope species are here, as well as zebra, caracal, aardwolf, jackal and leopard.
The shoreline of the Hartbeespoort Dam is populated with marinas, holiday resorts and weekend retreats. It is a water sport paradise, with fishing, diving, sailing, power boating, water skiing, jet skiing, wind surfing and parasailing. Away from the water there is hang gliding, hiking, hot air ballooning, a nature reserve with abundant bird life, the largest freshwater aquarium in Africa and a cableway that spans the dam.
The jewel in the crown of the Eastern Region, and biggest tourist draw of the North West province, is the Pilansberg National Park. Developed in an extinct volcano with six mountain rings, it offers big game thrills with the big five of lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant, as well as hippo, cheetah, hyena, wild dogs, most antelope species, and over 365 species of bird life. Covering 650 square miles, with 200 kilometres of good tar and gravel roads, it includes Lake Mankwe (place of the leopard), with walk-in hides.
Accommodation in the Pilansberg National Park ranges from luxury game lodges, safari camps, self-catering chalets and hotel to tented bush camps, thatched cottages, caravan parks and campsites.