Western Gauteng (or the West Rand in old parlance), like much of greater Gauteng owes its early existence to the discovery of mineral wealth beneath its soil. As time went by these West Rand settlements became dormitory towns to the ever expanding city of Johannesburg.
In addition to the mineral wealth beneath the soil of this part of South Africa, there is another type of wealth beneath the ground: fossils!! The Cradle of Humankind and the Sterkfontein Caves are one of the most fossil-rich sites in the world and the opportunity to learn about the origins of our species should not be missed at this world-class facility.
Despite the ever increasing urbanisation of the area, this part of Gauteng has retained its "small-town" feel amongst some of the region's most beautiful scenery - stretching from the fringes of metropolitan Johannesburg to the nearby Magaliesberg mountain range.
There are nature reserves and rivers and kloofs which offer wonderful settings for hikes, rock climbs and picnics. There are small villages, tea gardens, pubs and restaurants tucked away in beautiful and often unexpected places. You will also find art galleries, nurseries and curio shops and stalls to browse through.
Hartbeespoort Dam and Village sits in the middle of this area and offers a myriad of activities - from the Pecanwood golf estate to loads of different watersport activities, a cableway up the Magaliesberg overlooking the dam to shops and restaurants too numerous to mention. Don't miss the opportunity to quaff some excellent craft beer at the Chameleon Brewery just past the dam wall.
There is also the opportunity to visit the fascinating Hartbeespoort Snake and Animal Park.
- visit the Abe Bailey Nature Reserve in Carletonville
- try tandem or solo skydiving in Carletonville
- visit the Cradle of Mankind
- explore the Sterkfontein Caves
- take a ride through the Krugersdorp Game Reserve
- pop in to the Lesedi Cultural Village
- recharge your batteries at the Kloofendal Nature Reserve
- take a hot air balloon trip over the Magaliesberg
- visit Hartbeespoort Dam and village
- enjoy a picnic in the tranquil Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens in Krugersdorp