The Magaliesberg Mountain Range stretches in an arc from just west of Rustenburg, in the North West Province to just east of Pretoria, a 125-km ribbon of quartzite ridges interspersed by forested gorges and crystal-clear mountain streams. Rising 300 m above the surrounding landscape, this 2 000 million year old mountain range forms a natural boundary between the “Highveld” region to the south and the warmer “Bushveld” (Savannah) region to the north. A wide diversity of plants, mammals and birds have settled and been sustained here – it is one of South Africa’s few remaining habitats of the rare brown hyena and it also offers sanctuary to three breeding colonies of endangered Cape vultures. Local farmers and landowners have been encouraged to create a number of “vulture restaurants” – areas where they put out the carcasses of domestic animals for the vultures to feed on. When the carcasses have been scraped clean, volunteers crush the remaining bones to enable the vultures to obtain the much-needed calcium (from the bone fragments) so essential to their chicks’ diets.
Although most of the surrounding area is privately owned, the Magaliesberg was proclaimed a protected natural area in 1977. There are several accommodation establishments in the area, such as the Mount Grace Country House Hotel – recognised as one of the ten best country retreats in South Africa – that offer a wide range of recreational activities such as walks, hikes, scenic horse trails through the foothills of the mountain, rock climbing and “kloofing”. The Magaliesberg Mountains are considered to be one of the ten best places for rock climbing and “kloofing” in South Africa.
The picturesque little town of Magaliesburg lies in the subtropical valley below the southern slopes of the mountains. The mountains, town and river flowing through the valley are all named after a local chief called Magali (or Mohali), who lived in the area during the 1820s. The town is a shopper’s Mecca, with quaint little shops offering local cuisine, art and crafts, antiques and much more.
If you have not visited this town, you have not had a true country holiday. The Magalies Meander takes you to all the places of interest and only a person with very strong willpower can resist the temptation to investigate each nook and cranny.
Adventure And Sport
Angling: For a serene day out on the fishing waters, visit Kingfishers Farm or the Magalies Barbus Haven. Kingfishers Farm has trout fishing, swimming, picnic and barbecue facilities and prolific bird life. Quality fly-fishing can be enjoyed at Magalies Barbus Haven. Yellowfish are abundant as well as carp and bass. Equipment and guides are available.
Gliding: The Magalies Gliding Club offers introductory rides to visitors and potential members. The recently extended clubhouse with a swimming pool and barbeque facilities are open to families, members and guests. Flying during weekdays can be arranged.
Golf: If you come for a holiday, bring your golf clubs along! The driving ranges at Western Cane Trading, Pecanwood Golf Estate, Magalies Park Golf Club and Goldfields West East Driefontein Golf Course and Blyvooruitzig will give you more than enough to do.
Hiking and Horse riding: Tired of driving around all day to take in the sights? Then take a hike at “Rustig” (Tranquil) or ride a horse at the Roberts farm.
Hot-air Balloon Safaris: For a breathtaking “720” degree panoramic view of the Magalies River Valley, this is an adventure not to be missed. Booking is essential.
Microlight: Come and enjoy some exhilarating aviation sport at the Davies Aircraft Corporation where budding pilots learn to put Thunderbird Aeroplanes through their paces.
Art And Crafts
Boma Country Market: Open on Sundays and public holidays, Boma Country Market brings to the public an extensive range of handmade articles to adorn any home.
Entertainment And Shopping
Blaauwbank Store: Blaauwbank Store is but one of the shops in a street of shops where antiques, cottage furniture, baskets, and candles are sold or where you can relax at the pub or tea garden between shopping trips.
Oostburg Flower Farm, Impala Nursery and the Meadowcraft Berry Farm: The farms provide food for the eye and the stomach (only in season of course).
Western Cane Trading Store: The store is open seven days a week and sells cane, oregon and wrought iron furniture. Other shops include Delcardo, the El Paso Leather Shoppe, the Enchanted Candle Shoppe, Crystal Feeling, Hartley’s Craft Market, Pandora’s Box and Heinmar. Many of these places also have tea gardens or restaurants.
Fauna And Flora
Henningdale Ostrich Farm and the Corriloch Koi Farm: The farms provide the outdoor entertainment we all crave.
History And Architecture
Anglo-Boer War Remnants and Monuments: The area is filled with remnants from old wars. The old British blockhouse was built about 1902 during the Anglo-Boer War. The site of the Battle of Nooitgedacht, one of the historic battles between the Boers and the British, can only be visited by prior arrangement.
Blaauwbank Historic Goldmine: The Blaauwbank Historic Goldmine is surrounded by some lovely countryside and the majestic Magaliesberg Mountains. The Goldmine allows visitors to take part in some ancient activities, such as crushing rocks and panning for gold.