Fire up a quick getaway from the city
As the earth shifted two billion years ago, the Magaliesberg was born. One of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, this ancient site has drastically transformed over time. Kloofs, waterfalls, and pools formed amid the veld, and became home to countless species of plants and wildlife. In recent years, the region turned into a locale for mining and agriculture. Situated 90 minutes from Johannesburg, it’s now an adventurous getaway for city dwellers.
Reaching over 300 000 hectares, the Magaliesberg attracts mountain bikers, trail runners, and climbers. Short hikes through the terrain lead to picturesque ravines such as Castle Gorge, as well as Dome Pools where swimmers can dip their feet in summer. Shelter Rock, an immense boulder where people once sought protection in times of war, remains a place of refuge. Today, you can climb to the top and admire the diversity below.
This varied terrain offers a multitude of experiences. A UNESCO biosphere reserve, it’s ideal for spotting wildlife. Half an hour from Hartbeespoort Dam, game drives at Glen Afric bring people up close to elephants, lions, and cheetahs. While over 400 bird species take flight in the Magaliesberg, the skies aren’t just reserved for them. Hot air balloons soar above the landscape, their kaleidoscopic colours a vivid contrast to the greenery. Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris provide panoramic views of the quartzite formations and dense veld across the range. For a more exhilarating trip, Ama Zwing Zwing Zip Line Tour sends visitors gliding past tree canopies and over the heads of unsuspecting zebra.
Encompassing part of the Cradle of Humankind, the Magaliesberg is an integral part of South Africa’s history. As cities rapidly expand, this region remains a site of natural abundance. A stop over in the small town of Magaliesburg, with its cafés and farms, provides respite beneath the mountains. Here, you can fire up an escape from everyday life and fly.