North West – the province of surprises and new discoveries, where people can see nature in all its glory, express their search for adventure and find entertainment for the entire family. Not only does it provide wildlife adventures and safaris but also takes you down memory lane to the dark days of the Anglo-Boer War and leads you to knowledge of South Africa’s different cultures. From untamed bush to sophisticated five-star resorts, this province provides a unique experience of twenty-first-century living and the tribal mystique of Africa. As the province is malaria-free, tourists can have a carefree, enjoyable getaway.
The “Bushveld” region of the North West stretches for almost five hundred kilometres along South Africa’s high-lying plateau. The landscape of the province changed irrevocably when a meteorite crashed into the earth over 2 000 million years ago. This phenomenon created the Vredefort Dome, some 200 km in diameter. North West shares the Vredefort Dome with the Free State province and its name refers to the Free State town that is closest to the center of impact. The Dome Conservancy area is a fertile basin with beautiful natural vegetation. Tour operators offer adventure activities in and around the Dome Conservancy, such as camping, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing and white water rafting. It is a generally accepted theory that the impact of the meteorite also had an influence on where the main gold bearing reefs of Gauteng and Free State are situated.
North West also shares the Vaal River that flows along its southern border with other provinces. The river is a popular water sport venue and anglers and white water rafters make frequent use of its waters. The lovely scenery along the river’s path is .
Since time immemorial, the fertile valleys, intricate rock formations and open spaces worked their magic on all those who were fortunate enough to set their eyes upon this landscape. Early San hunter gatherers, Nguni migrants from central and eastern Africa, and Voortrekker settlers all heeded the call and came to live heref. . Unfortunately, since the different groups did not always see eye-to-eye, skirmishes between them were at the order of the day.
The area’s archaeological and palaeontological history has worldwide significance. In 1924, the discovery of the prehistoric Taung skull generated unprecedented excitement among scientists. The “Place of the Lion” is an important archaeological site that provided an invaluable link in the study of the origin of mankind.
The first shots of the Anglo-Boer War (the conflict between Great Britain and the allied Afrikaner Republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State) of 1899-1902 were fired in the North West and signs of the major battles and skirmishes of this war, such as the Siege of Mafikeng, are still to be seen.
The Province is strategically nestled against Gauteng to the east and borders Botswana to the west. The Cape-to-Zimbabwe railway also passes through Mafikeng, the capital of the North West, and the road infrastructure of the province is very well developed. The towns also offer various shopping centres. Its proximity to the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria makes it an ideal getaway for day and weekend trips and tourists are a regular sight throughout the year.
The African bushveld is known for its sunny, hot climate and the North West is no different. The province enjoys -year-round sunshine and a visitor is hardly ever forced to stay indoors.
During the sun-bleached spring and summer months (from September to March), refreshing afternoon rain showers occur frequently, often accompanied by thunderstorms. Summer temperatures range from 22 to 34 degrees Celsius (71, 6 to 93, 2 degrees Fahrenheit).
During the drier winter months (May to August), the sun still rules the skies but the nights can become quite chilly. Temperatures can range from 2 degrees Celsius (35, 6 degrees Fahrenheit) to 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in a single day.