North West Province of South Africa

North West Province

Beautiful Golf Courses North West Province

North West is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Mahikeng. The province is located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng.

History of North West Province

North West was created after the end of Apartheid in 1994, and includes parts of the former Transvaal Province and Cape Province, as well as most of the former Bantustan of Bophuthatswana. It was the scene of political violence in Khutsong, Merafong City Local Municipality in 2006 and 2007, after cross-province municipalities were abolished and Merafong Municipality was transferred entirely to North West. Merafong has since been transferred to Gauteng province in 2009.

During the Anglo-Boer War, a Boer force besieged the town of Mafikeng. The British soldiers in the town were trapped for 7 months before they were rescued. In this time, Sol Plaatje worked for the British as an interpreter in Mafikeng. After the war he was one of the founders of the SANNC, a political party that later became the ANC.

Geography

Much of the province consists of flat areas of scattered trees and grassland. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast extends about 130 km (about 80 miles) from Pretoria to Rustenburg. The Vaal River flows along the southern border of the province.

The North West Province forming the southern part of the Kalahari Desert is all about the authentic African bush experience, and it is the hot, dry Africa that, if properly prepared for, is truly special. Small wonder, then, that so many indulge in the many water recreational facilities available throughout the region.

Climate

If you’re looking for plenty of sunshine during your visit to South Africa, the North Western Province is probably your best bet. Situated on the southern corner of the Kalahari Desert, the North West Province’s climate enjoys plenty of sunshine. In fact, the days here can get so hot that you should expect to wear sunscreen and a hat on a daily basis during the summer months. However the North Western Province is not just a hot, sandy desert. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The summer season sees plenty of afternoon rain showers while the winter months enjoy fairly chilly nights.

The capital city of the North Western Province is Mafikeng. Situated in what is roughly the middle of the province, it enjoys a good balance between the hotter western side of the province and the cooler southern side. You will find that summer here falls between August and March and though the temperatures at this time of year may range between 22º C and 34º C, the heat of the day is broken with regular afternoon thundershowers. The rain keeps the region green and healthy and often proves to be a welcome respite from the heat of the day for both man and beast. The onset of winter arrives at around May and continues until about July and the average winter temperature is about 16º C – which, when combined with sunny blue skies can be very comfortable. However, the winter temperature can plummet below 2º C or it can climb as high as 20º C. What’s more, this extreme variance in temperature can occur all in the same day. Winter days are usually quite dry so skin cream and lip balm are recommended. At night, the temperature usually plummets drastically, so pack some warm clothes if you want to stay comfortable.

Though the mercury might rise in the summer months in the North West Province, you should not let this deter you. If you come adequately prepared to beat the heat and keep out the cold, you will find that the North West Province is a most enjoyable destination. Not only does it offer some truly fantastic bushveld experiences, but it offers a wide variety of water-based activities to help you keep your temperature down. So come and enjoy this beautiful province and make the most of Mother Nature.

Economy

The mainstay of the economy of North West Province is mining, which generates more than half of the province’s gross domestic product and provides jobs for a quarter of its workforce. The chief minerals are gold, mined at Orkney and Klerksdorp; uranium, mined at Klerksdorp; platinum, mined at Rustenburg and Brits; and diamonds, mined at Lichtenburg, Christiana, and Bloemhof. The northern and western parts of the province have many sheep farms and cattle and game ranches. The eastern and southern parts are crop-growing regions that produce maize (corn), sunflowers, tobacco, cotton, and citrus fruits. The entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and Lost City also contributes to the provincial economy.

Platinum

The world’s largest platinum mines are near Rustenburg in the North West Province. Most of the world’s platinum comes from the Merensky Reef in the North West Province. Platinum is more valuable than gold, and is very popular in jewellery.

Tourism

Bojanala East is situated close to Gauteng, and is the most scenic region of the province

Bojanala-Rustenburg region 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 natural game area with a number of fine game parks.

There is a large variety of historical and cultural interests to be found in the area, such as the German community of Kroondal that dates back to 1857, the indigenous Bafokeng, Bakgatla and Botswana tribes with their totemic and other tribal traditions.

Bojanala-Eastern Region is situated close to Gauteng, and is the most scenic region of the province. If you like adventure, this is your kind of region. Water activities, mountain sports, hang-gliding, parasailing, abseiling, hiking trails, angling, yachting, ballooning, cable way and leisure.

This region is host to the internationally-renowned Lost City Sun City complex with two designer golf courses, 6000-seat Superbowl, the largest casino and gaming complex in the country and its situation in the extinct Pilanesberg volcano formed more than 1300 million years ago. It is adjacent to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve which is home to thousands of animals including the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant.

Here rests the Cradle of Humankind, set around the Rustenburg, Magaliesberg and Hartbeespoort regions. The area abounds with relics from the Stone Age and early middle and late Iron Age. There are a large number of arts, crafts and curio outlets, especially in the Hartbeespoort Dam and Rustenburg areas. Many form part of the Crocodile, Rustenburg and Magliesburg Arts and Crafts Rambles – ever popular with visitors.

The northwest of the region borders on the Madikwe Game Reserve, a haven to visitors who want to live the African experience.

Western region of the North West Province

“Getting closer to nature” is the main focus of the Dr Ruth S. Mompati District (formerly Bophirima Region or 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. Taung is the site of the discovery of the Taung skull, one of the world’s most important archaelogical discoveries. The region is also affectionately known as “The Texas of South Africa” given its strong mining and agricultural economy.

The region is situated 1,200m above sea level and has an annual average rainfall of 430mm. The climate is dry and healthy, particularly in winter when days are sunny and bracing. Summers are hot with temperatures ranging from 16 – 38 degrees C.

The vast expanses of this African savannah bushland is home to a great variety of game species, including lion, buffalos and rhino to be encountered at number of privately owned game reserves.

The Ngaka Modiri Molema District (Central Region) is home to Mahikeng, the 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 Ngaka Modiri Molema District (Central Region) is home to Mahikeng, the 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.

Wonderful Water Adventures

The North West Province is home to some of South Africa’s largest and most renowned bodies of water, such as the Hartbeespoort Dam, Bloemhof Dam and Barberspan. Visitors to any of these locations can look forward to myriad water-centered sports and activities, including windsurfing, sailing, skiing, canoeing, fishing, diving, and snorkelling. For a less challenging experience, enjoy a leisurely cruise, a peaceful picnic alongside the water or simply be treated to a spectacular aquatic sunset.

African Water Safari

A floating restaurant affords a languid cruise on the tranquil Hartbeespoort Dam, renowned for its unforgettable aquatic sunset.

Barberspan Bird Sanctuary

A huge 2000 ha body of water located between Delareyville and Sannieshof – canoes and rowing boats are allowed in the southern section of the dam.

Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve

One of the largest dams in South Africa, covering an area of some 25 000 ha and reaching over 100 km upstream from the dam wall – the dam is open for all water sports. The long yellow grasses contrast against the azure blue, northern shores of the Bloemhof Dam.

Elgro River Lodge

World renowned fly fishing location. We also offer river rafting, game drives, paint ball, caving and climbing, abseiling, relationship building courses.

Hartbeespoort Dam

The perfect spot for an adventure getaway – offering wonderful picnic spots and an opportunity to windsurf, sail, canoe or body-board.

Lenyebe River Lodge

Fly fishing and sun set cruising. We also offer hiking trails, conference facilities and accommodation.

Sunwa Ventures

Brave the rapids during an exhilarating inflatable raft journey down the infamous Vaal river.

Temple of Courage – Sun City

The Temple of Courage with its heart stopping water chutes, where the brave can plunge down nearly 100 metres of rock face, at speeds of up to 35 km per hour.

African Water Safari

A floating restaurant affords a languid cruise on the tranquil Hartbeespoort Dam, renowned for its unforgettable aquatic sunset.

The Vredefort Dome was created by a massive meteorite, over 10km³ in diameter. It struck the earth about 2023 million years ago, near the present day village of Vredefort.

The impact created a crater some 90 km in diameter and 16-18 km deep and caused a tremendous shift in in the earth’s crust across a radius of over 300km diameter.

From the air, a partial ring of hills can be seen clearly. These hills form an arc to the north and west of Vredefort and Parys, centring on Vredefort. This area is known as the “Vredefort Dome”.

Several landowners in the region have come together to form the Vredefort Dome Conservancy.

The Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site is one of the province’s prime adventure tourism sites with numerous tour operators and accommodation facilities catering for the needs of campers, hikers, rock climbers, canoeists and white water rafters.

 

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