Gallery: More than the sun in North West

You may think North West’s only attraction is Sun City, our first casino resort. But the province, tucked under Botswana in the north of South Africa, also offers wildlife, majestic scenery, a literary little town, and rich African culture.

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Bill Harrop’s Balloon Safaris at Hartebeestpoort allows visitors to enjoy North West from the sky.

Compiled by Mary Alexander

It’s September. It’s spring in South Africa – and Tourism Month, celebrated this year with the theme “Tourism for All”. To inspire your next road trip we bring you nine galleries, one for each province, showcasing our country’s remarkable beauty and diversity.

A thriving tourism industry means South Africa is closer to achieving its National Development Plan goals of skills development and creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.

In North West you can take a balloon ride over ripple mountains smashed out by the blast from one of the earth’s oldest volcanic eruptions. You can marvel at a myth of ancient Africa at the fabulous Lost City. At Groot Marico you can immerse yourself in the bushveld atmosphere that inspired the stories of Herman Charles Bosman. Or you can laze the day away on a boat on Hartebeespoort Dam.

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Hartebeestpoort Dam on the Vaal River is just an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. The mountains that loom over the dam were formed by the ancient eruption of a volcano hundreds of kilometres away. The circular remnant of that volcano is today the Pilanesberg National Park, a wildlife preserve near the Sun City casino resort. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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A cheetah – one of Africa’s most endangered animals – at the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in North West. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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The Palace of the Lost City hotel at Sun City models itself on a mix of myths and cultures from across Africa. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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Inside the Sun City casino. Developed in the 1980s, Sun City is South Africa’s oldest casino resort. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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Crafts for sale at Chameleon Village in Hartebeestpoort. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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African wild dogs at play in the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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French Village, Hartebeestpoort. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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The Hartebeestpoort Dam wall. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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The small town of Groot Marico in North West was the setting of a series of famous short stories by Herman Charles Bosman, one of South Africa’s greatest and most tragic writers. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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An old still at Marico Mampoer in Groot Marico. Mampoer, or fruit brandy, is a powerful drink and a recurring theme in the Groot Marico stories of Herman Charles Bosman. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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Get up close to Africa’s largest animal at the Elephant and Monkey Sanctuary in Hartebeestpoort. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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A raised walkway allows visitors to safely explore the Elephant and Monkey Sanctuary in Hartebeestpoort. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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The Hartebeestpoort Cableway takes visitors from the dam to the top of the mountains. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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Craftwork for sale at the visitor’s centre at the top of the Hartebeestpoort Cableway. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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Jaci’s Lodges, Madikwe Game Reserve. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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Jasmyn Farmer’s Market, Hartebeestpoort. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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A nighttime performance at Lesedi Cultural Village, which showcases a range of Southern African traditional cultures for tourists. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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The Mafikeng Museum in the historic city of Mahikeng, the capital of North West. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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A rhino crosses the road in the Pilanesberg National Park. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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The Valley of the Waves at Sun City. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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A hot-air balloon ride view of North West farmlands. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)

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Inside the Palace of the Lost City at Sun City. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)