Hotels in and around the North West province
South Africa's North West Province is neighbour to Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, the Northern Cape and Botswana. It is a landlocked province, known for its exquisite plant and animal species. In fact, this province is home to some of the most famous and well-populated game reserves in southern Africa, including Pilanesberg and the Magaliesberg. Many of these parks are home to the entire Big 5 ‘team' – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes – in addition to other fascinating reptiles, mammals, insects, birds and more.
Another famous attraction that can be found in the North West is Sun City; a world class facility that boasts a casino, hotel and endless fun activities for the entire family. In fact, this resort is known as one of the country's finest, popular amongst local and international travellers. The diverse portfolio of visitors makes for an equally varied destination, iconic of this ‘Rainbow Nation'.
Apart from the fantastic things to do and see within the North West Province, it also benefits from its close proximity to other major hotspots, including Johannesburg (and its international airport), Botswana and the Kruger National Park.
As with many other mountainous African areas, the North West Province bears evidence on its rock faces and within caves of an ancient tribal society that lived off the land. Important remnants, such as stone tools, iron implements and human remains provide very real evidence of these ancient people.
However, the Europeans arrived on the shores of South Africa in the mid-1600's. As they settled, they grew and migrated, eventually occupying almost all the areas over time. The indigenous people were forcibly removed, killed or enslaved. Both of the Anglo-Boer Wars began in the North West Province. The Boere had originated mainly from the Dutch explorers, and survived by farming and hunting and then selling their goods. Both the Boere and the English wanted more of this fertile, arable land. The Dutch migrated north, in what was termed the Great Trek, and established official colonies. This gave rise to increased tensions and war eventually broke out, leading to the deaths of many soldiers and their families. All the while, the black South Africans that had been occupying these areas for centuries were disregarded.
Negotiations for peace began in 1902 and the Treaty of Vereeniging was signed at the same time. This treaty required that the British grant the Afrikaans self-governance of certain colonies, although they remained under the ultimate rulership of the English. This was the basis for the Afrikaans Boere keeping themselves and their culture separate from the English South Africans, a trend which lasted well into the 20th century. It was only when the country was released from its Apartheid regime in the 1990's that the area was again remembered for its intrinsically black African heritage.
The North West Province promises visitors an excess of fun and informative activities for all members of the family. The area is famous for its game parks. Tourists wanting to engage with African wildlife and spend their holidays on exciting safaris are well rewarded in this South African province. The parks include:
Sun City Resort is surely one of the North West's most lucrative tourist attractions. It is situated within the heart of a natural volcano, and boasts a fantastical approach to African décor, effectively transporting its guests to a secret world of long ago. The Sun City hotels are opulent, nestled within a rainforest, and right next door to the Pilanesberg National Park. The Super Bowl is an entertainment centre that seats 6000 people in which various events, concerts and competitions have been hosted. This is just one such venue, and is partnered by the likes of the Sun City Theatre with a capacity of over 600 people. Patrons are guided through a culinary extravaganza as they visit the various top-notch restaurants. In preparation for such pampering, the guests will enjoy working up an appetite participating in the various events around the resort, including the Valley of Waves (a manmade ocean), African jungles and the Palace of the Lost City. Sports facilities are designed especially with tennis-, squash-, golf-, cycling-, parasailing-, swimming- and horse riding enthusiasts in mind.
Although the North West Province is landlocked, places like the exquisite Hartebeespoort Dam provide all the water sports opportunities required to have an adventurous or relaxing holiday.
Visitors from countries around the world will likely arrive at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport. This is approximately 2 to 3 hours' drive from the North West capital, Mafikeng.
Most South African cities offer professional taxi services. These can be arranged directly, or with the help of your tour operator or accommodation provider. It is not advised that you use the minibus taxis unless you are familiar with local languages and customs and are happy with their certification.
Should you hire a vehicle in the North West Province, GPS or Satellite Navigation is recommended for your safety and convenience.
The North West Province is sunny almost all year round. Hot summers extend from December to March, with temperatures reaching up to 34 degrees Celsius. Afternoon thundershowers are typical of this area, particularly in summer. These are usually quick and refreshing. Winters are from June to August, and are cool and dry. Midday highs reach comfortable temperatures of about 17 degrees Celsius, but nights and early mornings are very cold.
The North West Province of South Africa is considered a malaria-free zone. However, a few of the surrounding countries and provinces are not. Therefore, if you are visiting such places as Mpumalanga, Botswana and the Kruger National Park, it is recommended that you consult with a travel doctor before your arrival in South Africa.
Because this area is particularly sunny, a high-factor sunscreen, broad-rimmed sunhat and protective clothing are recommended at all times. Try to stay out of direct sunlight between 10h00 and 14h00.
It is advised that you bring your prescriptions for spectacles and medication so that you can restock at a local pharmacy without having to consult with a doctor. In addition, ensure that your tetanus shots are up-to-date.
Be aware of your belongings at your accommodation site, or at any of the tourist attractions. Do not accept help from strangers, especially if it involves handing over any of your valuables. Consult with your tour operator to learn of any areas that need to be avoided, particularly at night. Do not walk around with large amounts of cash or photographic equipment.