North West Province DestinationsHartbeespoort, Hartbeespoort Dam
The little village of Hartbeespoort lies right on the banks of the Hartbeespoort Dam, basking in the sunlight on the slopes of the Magaliesberg. Its name literally means “pass of the hartbees” and refers to a species of antelope that probably used this pass as a means over the Magaliesberg Mountains.
Hartbeespoort lies conveniently close to both Johannesburg and Pretoria, making it a much sought after weekend destination, and water sports are high on the agenda for most visitors to the edge of the dam. Staying here gives you the best of two worlds, surrounded as you are by both water and mountains; a combination that never ceases to have an effect on those stealing time away from the city humdrum.
And there is plenty to do here. If it is peace and tranquillity you are after, then heading off into the mountains a little further from here will guarantee solitude and time in nature. Hiking and kloofing in the Magaliesberg are worth the effort for those seeking both relatively easy walks and challenging hikes. Intermittent waterfalls, streams and water holes make for fantastic swimming and picnic spots along the way. Adventurers might prefer pursuing hot air ballooning, or hang-gliding off the top of the mountain – there is an ideal spot at the top of the cable car ride - and the local Crocodile Ramble takes in a series of arts, crafts and food in the area.
Around the dam lie a zoo and a snake park, whilst a short drive brings you to the De Wildt Cheetah Research Centre, or the Cradle of Humankind.