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Known as Harties to the locals, Hartbeespoort is a small town located in the North West Province of South Africa and bordering the wealthy Gauteng Province. It’s the playground of pleasure seekers, drawn to the 2000ha dam and the many attractions along its waters.
The area is popular as a venue for out of town conferences and teambuilding events, the crisp clean air and temperate climate ensuring a relaxed, pleasant environment.
Only 40km from Pretoria and with Johannesburg 75km away, Hartbeespoort is a short journey for the weary wanting to escape frenetic city life. And motor bikers assemble on Sundays to attend the Breakfast Run that travels the winding roads into Hartbeespoort and ends with a breakfast at a venue overlooking the dam.
Hartbeespoort is an excellent getaway destination too, the bucket list opportunities ranging from exciting wildlife safaris to water-skiing and hot air balloon rides.
Top 8 reasons to visit Hartbeespoort
1. Travel the longest mono cableway in Africa on the Harties Cableway for gorgeous vistas of the dam and surrounding mountains. The cableway journey is 1.2km in length in Swiss-engineered cars carrying 6 passengers each. There are several restaurants and various walkways on the summit.
2. Hartbeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park houses exotic cats, chimpanzees, hyenas and other animals at their zoo situated along the water’s edge. The park is both an educational and conservation facility. Visitors may interact with some of the animals. Open throughout the year.
3. Take a leisure boat cruise around the Hartbeespoort Dam to appreciate the quiet and watch the birdlife. Several boat cruise operators offer drinks on board and music, tube rides and water skiing if things need livening up.
4. The Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary is a non-profit centre setup to rehabilitate indigenous and exotic primates recovered from the illegal pet trade and irresponsible pet owners. Visitors have the opportunity to see a bush baby, however, there is a good chance of seeing these cuddly nocturnal creatures in their natural surroundings for those staying over at Hartbeespoort.
5. Golfers can afford to be picky on their choice of golf course at Hartbeespoort: the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pecanwood Golf and Country Club course, the challenging Magalies Park Country Club course or the picturesque 9-hole course at Sandy Lane Golf Club in the Kosmos suburb, all spectacularly scenic.
6. Join a hiking party to trek the 3-hour Phaladingwe Hiking Trail at Pelindaba. The route passes looming cliffs, ancient olive trees, an old cemetery, a river and large natural sinkholes. A vulture restaurant is planned for the area to protect the endangered Cape Griffon vulture.
7. Get to the Skeerpoort balloon launch site early for a quick breakfast and briefing before heading out on a hot air balloon ride over Hartbeespoort and the adjoining Magaliesburg Mountains. The crew welcome any assistance in preparing the craft, a good idea in order to satisfy yourself of a safe flight!
8. Revitalise the body with an individual treatment or opt for one of the many spa packages on offer at the Mangwanani African Spa. An onsite shop sells vouchers and various products to try at home.
The nearest international airport is OR Tambo International Airport, 100km from Hartbeespoort. Lanseria Airport is 40km for domestic flights. Rent a car at the start of your journey in Johannesburg or Lanseria, otherwise order a vehicle online. Shuttle service companies operate in nearby Centurion, however, it’s best to use a rental to fully appreciate the area.
Did you know?
The road between Pretoria and Rustenburg was built in 1923 and crosses the dam wall on a bridge built to resemble a Dutch triumphal arch. Approximately a quarter of a million bags of cement were used to construct the massive dam wall, nowadays a popular photo shot hotspot.
A well-known local airline, popular for its prices and hilarious marketing strategy, once posted an advert on April 1st stating that they had extended their service to include seaplane landings on Hartbeespoort Dam and at other centres.