Travel | 10 Oct 2017 | By Sun International

Top spots for sightseeing in the North West

If you’re planning a trip to the North West province, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit for the weekend. Just a short trip outside of Johannesburg or Pretoria, it’s well worth taking the time to spend two days in North West to drink in all the sights, sounds and flavours of this fascinating province.

Best place to spend 48 hours in the North West

One of the must-see towns during your two days in North West is Hartbeespoort in the beautiful valley of Hartbeespoort Dam. ‘Harties', as it is affectionately called by locals, offers much in the way of sightseeing in the North West.

Explore the dam itself and take a drive across the bridge and through the tunnel on your way to explore wonderful finds, such as the local farmers market at Jasmyn, which is easy to spot, thanks to the giant windmill feature atop the market roof. Explore the multitude of eateries including French Toast Koffie Kafee, Tannie Malie se Winkel or the Waffle House. Hartbeespoort is packed with places of interest, including Pretville — the set for several local movies; the Harties Cableway; the elephant sanctuary and Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary. Browse through crafts at Chameleon Village or take a walk on the wild side at the nearby De Wildt cheetah reserve or Inyoni Estate Crocodile Farm.

If you're looking for a weekend getaway, Carousel is the perfect place to spend two days in North West province. There is something on offer for every member of the family, from horseback riding to comedy nights, restaurants and entertainment for the kids. Take the time to enjoy a relaxing 48 hours in the North West — Carousel is also home to Shangilia Day Spa which offers a variety of pampering treatments.

In the mood for a great night of entertainment? Visit the Western-themed Cheyenne Saloon – which regularly hosts open-mic nights, live music and themed events, and features some of South Africa's top talent like Kurt Darren, Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels. If you feel like Lady Luck is on your side, why not try your hand at the slots or tables at Carousel Casino! And for those who want to enjoy their two days in North West in nature, go on a horseback safari and see blue wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, kudu and impala.

With the option to stay at Carousel Hotel or the self-catering Acacia Place units, it's easily accessible from Pretoria, Johannesburg and Polokwane, making it one of the top places to visit in the North West province.

Discover ancient history in North West province

Make the time for sightseeing in the North West and visit the Cradle of Humankind, where around 40% of the world's hominid fossils have been excavated. The area is rich in these incredible finds thanks to the dolomitic limestone ridges which have preserved history well. Take a morning to explore the birthplace of ancient man at this World Heritage Site.

The Sterkfontein Caves is another must-visit if you're in the North West. Excavations here have unearthed not only stone tools but also the Mrs Ples and Little Foot fossils.

Go wild in the Pilanesberg National Park

If you have 48 hours in North West, then make sure you visit the Pilanesberg National Park. Covering 550 square kilometres, Pilanesberg National Park is home to the Big Five as well as tsessebe, roan, sable and wild dog. One of the top places of interest in North West, Pilanesberg straddles the transition zone between the Lowveld and Kalahari vegetation, making it home to a plethora of game, bird species and unique flora.

For more ideas about what to do in the North West province, follow Carousel on Facebook and Twitter.