The Magaliesberg – one of the top getaway destinations for those living in Gauteng and Pretoria
And you don’t always need to wait till the festive season to head out there. The area is full of exciting activities and outings that can add value to even a quick weekend away.
“We are often asked to recommend activities in the area” says Avukile Mabombo, Group Marketing Manager for Protea Hotels by Marriott Hotels. “And we enjoy hearing and speaking to our guests about the adventures they’ve had as well as giving advice about hidden gems in the area”.
Magaliesburg is rich in history, wildlife, outdoor activities and family outings. Below are some tips from Mabombo and the staff at the African Pride Mount Grace Country House & Spa, for things to do in the surrounding area:
The Cradle of Humankind is an obvious choice for a day’s adventure
Both educational and fun, the Cradle of Humankind Site is a strip of dolomite limestone caves that house fossilised remains of pre-historic animals, plants and most importantly – homonids.
Seven of the 12 sites have yielded hominid remains producing over 800 fossils collectively. Of these the Sterkfontein Caves is a must see just 10 kms from Krugersdorp. Australophthecus africanus was found here, affectionately known as Mrs. Ples. She was one of the first fossils to indicate that walking upright evolved well before any significant growth in brain size.
For water lovers – the Hartbeespoort Dam is a frequent trip for locals
It’s a favourite for good reason, with a wide variety of activities on offer including boating, quad biking, climbing, paragliding, hang-gliding, hot-air ballooning, and a wide range of watersports.
For the slightly less adventurous there’s regular old hiking, or the option of a trip up the Harties Cableway for majestic panoramic views of the dam, the Magaliesberg mountain range and surrounding areas.
Nearby you can also find the Miracle Waters Diving Centre, ‘a dive getaway in clean spring water’ in view of the Magaliesberg mountains. The centre offers instruction to complete beginners, with ‘no major hazards or extreme depths’, five training platforms, and equipment for hire. A sunken bus and airplane can be reached by more experienced divers.
Pre- or post-dive, or for visitors more interested in land-based activities, the venue offers birding, game enclosures, a trampoline and swimming pool for children, as well as picnic and braai facilities.
The area is also a hive of activity for mountain bikers and trail runners with the Mountain Sanctuary Park MTB trails which form part of the Magalies Monster race
Parts of the course are kid friendly and one can picnic at the local braai sites near the swimming pools. Booking ahead is necessary as daily quotas are applied.
Magaliesburg is just over an hour’s drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria, making it perfect for a weekend spring getaway.