Gauteng DestinationsMuldersdrift, West Rand
This particularly pretty part of the world used to be real countryside, way outside of Johannesburg, for escapees of the city lifestyle. Whilst today the small farms and smallholdings still exist, Muldersdrift has now become something of a village, its borders literally melded with the outer suburbs around Northgate.
Muldersdrift is a wonderful place to stay whilst in Johannesburg, particularly if your needs are to the north of the city. Your evenings are peaceful and tranquil yet your access to Fourways, Sandton, Randburg and even Pretoria is easy, and Lanseria airport is a mere 15 minutes away. There is beauty in the grasslands and natural indigenous vegetation in Muldersdrift, which lies in the heart of the Kromdraai Valley home to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site.
Visit the Wondercave, one of the show caves of the heritage site and the third largest cave in South Africa. It may consist only of a single chamber, but itís huge - large enough to hold a rugby field - and visitors descend some 40 metres via an open lift from the surface, or you can abseil down. One can view some incredible formations that include cave pearls and pools, whilst stalagmites are up to 15 metres high. An added highlight to your trip could be the little observatory near Wondercave where astronomer Bill Hollenbach gives talks and shows about comets, meteors and perilous asteroids.
Not as obvious as the Sterkfontein caves and the discovery of Mrs Ples, there is a private nature reserve, the Cradle, that lies within the larger Cradle of Humankind. Explore indigenous forests and streams; and scour grassland for antelope, giraffe and zebras.