The Magaliesberg Region, Gauteng

The Magaliesberg mountains are of the oldest in the world. They extend across Gauteng and the North West provinces west and north from Pretoria to just south of the Pilanesberg, and east of Pretoria to the Bronkhorstspruit Dam.

Did you know? It might be a small area on the map, but there are plenty of hotels and options for Magaliesberg accommodation to choose from, and even more to keep you busy in the Magaliesberg. Visit Hartebeespoort Dam, Hekpoort, Kromdraai and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, the village of Magaliesburg, numerous nature and game reserves and Sterkfontein Caves.

Formerly known as the Cashan Mountains the Magaliesberg stretch for over 120 kilometres, separating the highveld grasslands to the south, from the bushveld savannah of the north.

Aside from their milestone age - they are a hundred times older than Everest and half the age of the earth – these mountains and the surrounding area also possess a rich biodiversity (the Aloe Peglerae and Frithia pulchra are unique to this area), and the bird life in the mountains and the surrounds is almost unparallelled - 46.6% of Southern Africa's bird species live here.

Over time the drama of the mountains' unique geology, in the form of its quartzite cliffs, have been shaped by water runoff to form deep gullies and magnificent kloofs (a few of them over 100 metres deep), with gushing perennial waterfalls and streams that make the place a treasure for hikers and climbers who explore the forested kloofs dripping with water, ferns, flowers, grasses and fungi.

The Magaliesberg region is recognised as the birthplace of mankind, and visitors from all over the world head to Maropeng, the visitor centre at The Cradle of Humankind. Excavations continue to uncover ancient skeletons, like Little Foot – the nickname given to a nearly complete four million year-old Australopithecus fossil skeleton that still lies partially in breccia, under excavation.

It's likely that when fully excavated it will be more complete even than the Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, Lucy, in Hadar, Ethiopia.

Because of their uniqueness the mountains are a pivotal feature in the recently proclaimed Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve that protects 360 000 hectares between Pretoria, Johannesburg and Rustenburg.

For overworked city folk, though, the Magaliesberg is a welcome respite and a chance to escape into nature over weekends. Just over an hour's drive from both Pretoria and Johannesburg the mountains provide a range of retreats and guest houses, the Crocodile Ramble, and the Magaliesberg Meander.

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South Africa Accommodation / Gauteng Accommodation / West Rand Accommodation / Magaliesberg Accommodation

Destinations in the Magaliesberg Region

Cradle of Humankind

Overnight? Cradle of Humankind accommodation
The Cradle of Humankind Site lies mainly in the Gauteng province with a small extension into the neighboring North West province, and covers 47 000 hectares of land mostly privately owned. The Cradle of Humankind Site comprises a strip of a dozen dolomiti...


Overnight? Doornhoek accommodation
Doornhoek lies in the heart of the Magaliesberg, close to the little village of Hekpoort that nestles on the gentle southern slopes of the mountain range, just north west of Johannesburg. Most of the area is used for agriculture in this corner of Gauteng,...


Overnight? Hekpoort accommodation
Nestled on the southern slopes of the Magaliesberg Mountain range is the predominantly farming area of Hekpoort, only a short drive from Hartbeespoort Dam and accessible from the south via a pass through the Daspoortrand, hence the name Hekpoort (meaning ...


Overnight? Kromdraai accommodation
Kromdraai falls within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, proclaimed such by UNESCO in 1998. It’s one of the most famous valleys in the world filled with palaeontological sites rendering ancient relics of mankind that are millions of years old. ...


Overnight? Maanhaarrand accommodation
The unusual name of Maanhaarrand originates from the ridge formed behind the village by the Magaliesberg Mountains, which resemble a lion’s mane. This mountain range forms an idyllic backdrop to the tiny rural village, which is nestled deep within its foo...


Overnight? Magaliesburg accommodation
The sleepy little village of Magaliesburg lies in the Witwatersberg - the actual Magaliesberg Mountains are a further 8 kilometres or so north of here - its nearest neighbours the unassuming towns of Doornhoek and Hekpoort, an easy hour’s drive from Johan...


Overnight? Renosterspruit accommodation
Set in a valley through which the Crocodile River meanders in the foothills of the Magaliesberg, is Renosterspruit. Renosterspruit lies in a vital and natural green lung, encompassing farmland, small holdings and a number of reserves and conservancies - s...


Overnight? Skeerpoort accommodation
Skeerpoort train station lies along the R560, west of Hartbeespoort dam and just outside the parameters of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. If there is a town of Skeerpoort then it remains very well hidden in amongst the gentle swellings of th...

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