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Things to do in North West Province - South Africa

OK so you’ve made plans to be in Gauteng South Africa for a weekend, but you have extra time to spare.  So, what do you do?  Most probably you’ll hear people suggest a visit to Sun City.  And then you might ask:  What else are there to do in and around Sun City?  Well, here are a few ideas of what you can do in the North West province of South Africa:

Things to do in Northwest Province Is Sun City worth a visit

We’re stopping in the North West Province:

Sun City

Here are a few reasons why you should visit the only surf-and-safari destination in the North West:

  • Firstly, Sun City is definitely worth a visit, as it is fun for the whole family
  • The Valley of the Waves will entertain the kids for a whole day.  Well, the adults as well… 😊  Enjoy the experience of man-made waves and leisure rides on a lazy river. 
  • A walk through the beautiful Sun City is an experience in itself. 
  • The largest permanent maze in the Southern Hemisphere, The Maze of the Lost City is constructed from artificial stone and wood, creating the illusion of an ancient archaeological discovery that is fun for families to explore.  It covers half an acre and when night falls, flaming torches light the paths along the chambers.
  • It is home to the Gary Player Golf course, for golf lovers, hosting various golf challenges.
  • There is the famous Sun City Superbowl that hosts action-packed shows and concerts.
  • Bring the kids to play arcade games or try your hand at ten-pin bowling and go watch movies.
  • And then there is always the casino, for the lucky ones…
Visit Lost City of South Africa

The Palace of the Lost City

Luxury and Beauty

A legendary destination designed for luxury-seekers is definitely unique and something to see and experience.  If you’re looking for luxury accommodation in South Africa, this is one of the places you should visit in North West province.

  • Book a dining experience described as: “Sumptuous settings, flawless service, and international cuisine add up to five-star dining at The Palace of the Lost City restaurants. Expect gastronomic perfection. Each of The Palace of the Lost City restaurant menu has been crafted and curated by world-class chefs and paired with excellent wines.”
  • Book your accommodation and enjoy bespoke spa treatments, while you’re there.
  • As a hotel guest you can also get the chance to toast the rising sun on an early morning hot-air balloon ride over the plains of the Pilanesberg National Park or discover the Big Five up close on a game drive or rhino-tracking safari.

Get the best of both worlds, and book fabulous accommodation near Sun City and then visit as a day guest.  Here are a few recommendations:

Where to stay near Rustenburg

Bakubung Villas

Pilanesberg National Park is 13 km from the villa.
Bakubung Villas Accommodation Where to stay in North West Province South Africa
Bakubung Villas
Places to stay near Sun City in South Africa North West Region
Shepherd's Tree Game Reserve

Shepherds Tree Game Reserve

18 km away from Sun City.

Need accommodation in Rustenburg?

Find the best place for you. More than 60 options. From camping sites to chalets and B&Bs.

The Pilanesberg National Park

Pilanesberg National Park

Things you need to know before you go:

  • It is set in a malaria-free zone 
  • Only 2 hours from Johannesburg
  • Near easy road and air access
  • It is a child-friendly activity (fit for the whole family)
  • The park has an online ‘animal guide’ that will let you know regularly as the different animals (like the lions) are spotted, and where they are (wildlife sighting information).  However, this did not work for us as the signal was not good at the time.  At least with this info, we knew that they were there the day before and we could plan accordingly.
  • Pilanesberg National Park was rated as one of the best value for money National Parks in South Arica.

Right next to Sun City, you’ll find the Pilanesberg National Park.  A beautiful place where the Big 5 roam free.  You can enjoy an untamed African landscape without driving to the other side of the country.

The Pilanesberg National Park is set in an extinct volcanic crater.  During our visit, in between the grasslands and valleys, we saw more than 14 different types of animals.  Elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, and many more came out of their hiding places.  We sat at beautiful man-made lakes and watched the animals come for water while others cheerfully played around.  The lazy hippopotamus families and a playful fox made for a few cute moments. 

It is a self-drive adventure.  (In some places we were glad to have an ‘almost 4×4’ vehicle, that took the bumps and rocky corners with a smile, but you can take the more ‘decent’ roads in your own car.  There really is no need for a 4×4 vehicle.)

At the gate, you can ask for a map of the park and then you’re off on your own.  The park is regularly patrolled by friendly park officials, and you can explore as you wish, as long as you stay in your vehicle.  However, there are more than enough specially marked spots where you can stop and stretch your legs for a while. 

It is simply impossible to do the whole park in one day.  We got up at 05H00 and by the afternoon still had a huge part of the park that we haven’t covered yet.  A lunch stop at the park restaurant is nice as you get the opportunity to see the wildlife almost right next to your table…and then there is a curio shop as well.

The abundant birdlife includes eagles and even ostriches (although we haven’t seen them), but there are loads more. In fact, more than 350 different bird species.  Concealed wildlife-viewing shelters are scattered throughout the park where you can sit in silence and do some birdwatching.

Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa

5 Tips for your trip:

  • Consult the rules and regulations of the park.
  • Always make sure you have water and food.
  • Never, ever act like an idiot and leave your rubbish laying behind. 
  • Go early – especially in summer.
  • Take your time.  Don’t rush.  Enjoy the ride and keep your binoculars and camera nearby.

A special thank you to Franco Joubert for the photos.

In summary:

A personal note…

This was one of …no…Let me rephrase: 

This was the best ever wildlife safari that I’ve been on.  (Granted I haven’t been to the Kruger National Park yet.)  But, most of the wildlife farms promise you loads of animals, and then (if I’m lucky) I saw one animal, or maybe two.  Therefore, I have never been impressed with any of the farms that I’ve visited in the past.  Thanks to two very special people that took us on this trip, we can now say:  This was just the beginning of many visits to the rest of South Africa’s National Parks.  We loved seeing the animals in their natural habitat and we strongly recommend that you visit the South African National Parks, as they are really worth a visit.

If you have the time, book an early morning sunrise hot air balloon ride.


Your next stop must definitely be the area in and around Hartbeespoort.  (Read more)

kosmos hartbeespoort sunrise 729848a2

While you’re in the area there are more fun things to do in the North West Province

You can use the links on our page to easily book online.  All the links you use on this page is from trusted operators that we ourselves use, and it is at no extra cost to you.  So book from the comfort of your home and enjoy.