Some 120km northwest of Johannesburg lies the platinum-mining town of RUSTENBURG, the oldest town in the former Western Transvaal. With its grid of prefabricated chain stores and shopping malls, the place is a pretty dreary hymn to misguided town planning and eminently missable. Still, you may end up staying if you’re visiting the glorious Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, 7km south of town.

Rustenburg’s historic centre is limited to two blocks of Burger Street, from Nelson Mandela Drive to Oliver Tambo Drive. Here you’ll find two churches: the old Anglican church, dating from 1871, and the 1850 Dutch Reformed church. Facing the latter is the graceful 1935 town hall and a statue of Paul Kruger by French sculptor Jean Georges Achard, showing the president in his last days in exile in France, sitting grumpily in an armchair. After this quick sightseeing tour, head to the gleaming Waterfall Mall, 5km east of town (follow Nelson Mandela Drive), for the province’s best shopping.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

South Africa features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
Why the Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s must-see destinations

Why the Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s must-see destinations

The Northern Cape, home to diamond mining capital Kimberley and wilderness of the Kalahari Desert, remains South Africa’s least visited province. But it just …

06 Jan 2016 • Meera Dattani insert_drive_file Article
Cape Town's irrepressible township revolution

Cape Town's irrepressible township revolution

Many visitors to Cape Town leave with a fairly limited view of the Mother City. They see the whitewashed beachfront restaurants and hotels, take the cable car u…

24 Dec 2015 • Chris Clark insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month