Randfontein, West Rand

Lying 45 kilometres west of Johannesburg, in what is commonly known as the West Rand, Randfontein emerged as a gold mining town during the late 1800s.

Apart from having the largest stamp mill in the world (used in early paper making for preparing the pulp), Randfontein, like many of the other outlying areas of Johannesburg, is essentially a rural collection of farms and small holdings in a particularly beautiful part of Gauteng. North west of Randfontein are the Magaliesberg and Witwatersberg mountains forming an attractive backdrop to the Skeerpoort and Crocodile River valleys.

Whilst mining still dominates this part of the world, one no longer has to drive miles to reach the nearest shopping centre from Randfontein as development has swiftly encroached and Randfontein is more like a suburb of Johannesburg, even if it falls under a separate municipality.

The Krugersdorp Game Reserve, barely two kilometres outside of Krugersdorp, is one of the closest attractions. It might be relatively small but the grassland, thornveld, riverine forest and rocky outcrops host a range of wildlife that includes hippo, buffalo, giraffe, white rhino and various antelope.

The Rhino Park, near Kromdraai, too is worth a visit - the rolling grasslands and hills to a number of dams where hippos play. The park has a growing white rhino population and you can spot a number of wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, sable and buffalo. Bird life abounds.

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