Bordering Gauteng, Bojanala Region lies in North West Province’s northeastern bushveld and is a popular weekend destination for Jo’burgers. One of the more distinctive parts of this largely empty and flat province is the Magaliesberg mountain range, which gets its name from the Tswana chief Mogale of the Kwena clan. Kwena people lived here from the seventeenth century until 1825, when most of them were forced out by the Ndebele chief Mzilikazi. Afrikaner farmers continued the process of eviction, and today the dispossession and expulsion of the Kwena in the Magaliesberg is complete.

Great chunks of the Magaliesberg have been fenced off and turned into time-shares or resorts, but there are oases of unspoilt nature, notably Kgaswane Mountain Reserve – accessed from the region’s main town, Rustenburg – and the Mountain Sanctuary Park, both preserved in something like their previous natural state and well stocked with wildlife. (The southeastern Magaliesberg mountains are covered in Chapter 7, see Gauteng.)

Further north, occupying an ancient volcanic crater, is the outstanding Pilanesberg National Park – the “Big Five” mainstay of Gauteng-based safari operators. If you’re in the mood for a fun-in-the-sun water park and some surreal tourist opulence, Sun City is worth checking out, if only as a stopover on your way in to Pilanesberg.

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