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North West

South Africas interior with its open horizons, isolated villages and fast vistas is more off the beaten track. The NorthWest Province extends from Gauteng to the Botswana border and the Kalahari desert. It’s one of the most visited provinces in South Africa, most tourists flock in Sun City and the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. But it can be very rewarding to explore the rest of this province.

Much of the province consists of flat areas of scattered trees and grassland. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast extends about 130 km (about 80 miles) from Pretoria to Rustenburg. The Vaal River flows along the southern border of the province.

In the east the Magalies Mountains with rolling hills, sparlking streams and kloofs separate Johannesburg from the open spaces of the NorthWest. There is plenty accommodation available because fast numbers of Jo’burgers come here to escape the city in the weekends.

In the north, on the border with Botswana, Madikwe Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s gems, a huge Big 5 park with upclass accommodation. All Big 5 can be spotted here, plus the endangered wild dog. It is a malaria free area, making it a good option for children.

In the Northwest a large number of small villages are waiting to be explored, scattered all over the province. Here the tourist finds old-fashioned hospitality and endless stretches of grasslands. Accommodation is easy to find, all along the road farms offer Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

Groot Marico is the most famous of all South Africa’s small farming towns. It hosts a Literary Weekend every October, drawing people in from far and wide.

The mainstay of the economy of North West Province is mining, which generates more than half of the province’s gross domestic product and provides jobs for a quarter of its workforce. The chief minerals are gold, mined at Orkney and Klerksdorp; uranium, mined at Klerksdorp; platinum, mined at Rustenburg and Brits; and diamonds, mined at Lichtenburg, Christiana, and Bloemhof.

About 85% of all money-making activities take place between Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom. The economic heart of the province is Klerksdorp.

The northern and western parts of the province have many sheep farms and cattle and game ranches. The eastern and southern parts are crop-growing regions that produce maize (corn), sunflowers, tobacco, cotton, and citrus fruits. The entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and Lost City also contributes to the provincial economy.