Quick Facts: Magaliesberg
- Magaliesburg is located to the north west of Johannesburg
- It is a diverse and fascinating region
- Magaliesburg and its surrounding areas boast a number of key tourist sites, including Magaliesburg village, Rustenburg, Hartbeespoort Dam and the Cradle of Humankind
- The region is set against a magnificent backdrop of the Magaliesburg Mountains
- This ancient mountain range spans more than 120 km
- The mountains form a geological divide between two very different landscapes: highveld grassland and bushveld savannah
- Magaliesburg is as rich culturally as it is geologically
- The Cradle of Humankind: World Heritage Site
- Sterkfontein Caves
- Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind
Located to the north west of Johannesburg is the diverse and fascinating region of Magaliesburg. Although the main industry here is agriculture, Magaliesburg and its surrounding areas boast a number of key tourist sites, including Magaliesburg village, Rustenburg, Hartbeespoort Dam and the Cradle of Humankind.
The region is set against a magnificent backdrop of the Magaliesburg Mountains. This ancient mountain range spans more than 120 km, from Bronkhorstspruit Dam in the east to Rustenburg in the west. The mountains form a geological divide between two very different landscapes –highveld grassland and bushveld savannah. Numerous riverine kloofs and gullies cut through the quartzite cliffs, providing a stunning playground for climbers and hikers.
The same volcanic activity that shaped these sheer, angled cliffs of Magaliesburg also had a significant impact on mineral resources in the area. Magaliesburg lies at the northern tip of the Witwatersrand System and it was here that gold was first struck. Blaaubank Mine was established in 1874, sparking a flood of hopeful prospectors to the Witwatersrand reef.
Magaliesburg is as rich culturally as it is geologically. The inhabitants of each age who have lived in this region have left behind evidence of their culture and biology, from hand carved stone tools to fossilized bones. Magaliesburg is recognised as the birthplace of humankind and the area, now known as The Cradle of Humankind, was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999. Archaeological sites such as the Sterkfontein Caves have been the source of some of our most important finds relating to early humans. Their stories have been gathered at Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind.
Magaliesburg and surrounds has a temperate, sunny climate. Sunshine is enjoyed year round, although summer experiences short, moderate showers in the afternoons. Winter days are blue-skied and dry, with cold nights and crisp, sometimes frosty mornings.
English is widely spoken throughout Magaliesburg, as well as Afrikaans, Pedi, Tswana, Tsonga, Zulu, Ndebele and Sotho.
- Dialling Code: 011, 014
- Flying Squad: 10111
- Ambulance: 10177
- Emergency Medical Response: 082-911
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Electricity: 220/230 volts AC, 50 Hz. Round three-pin plugs are standard.
Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital
Corner Kobie Krige and Burger Streets, Krugersdorp. Phone 011-951-0200.
Corner Luipaard and Paardekraal Drive, Krugersdorp. Phone 011-953-1700.
Ubuntu Arts and Crafts Centre, Koster Road, Magaliesburg. Phone 011-577-2008.
Mogale City Tourism
57 Commissioner Street, Krugersdorp. Phone 011-953-3727.
Lanseria Airport is the closest airport to the Magaliesburg region. Lanseria handles both domestic and private charter flights. The closest international airport to Magaliesburg is O.R. Tambo International Airport.
Two trains travel between Johannesburg and Magaliesburg: the Magaliesburg Express and Reefsteamers. Reefsteamers is a refurbished steam locomotive that travels from Maraisburg East Train Station in Johannesburg to Magaliesburg. The train only operates about twice a month – phone or check the website for their schedule. Phone 011-478-7787 / 011-956-6409. http://www.reefsteamers.co.za. The Magaliesburg Express departs from Park Station in Johannesburg on the first Sunday of every month. Phone 011-888-1154/5.
Car rental is readily available at O.R. Tambo International Airport. Self-drive is highly recommended for the Magaliesburg region, allowing visitors to meander between sites of interest at their own pace. An updated map and GPS are recommended for country driving. Magaliesburg is approximately 50 minutes from both O.R. Tambo International Airport and Pretoria CBD, and 20 minutes from Lanseria Airport.
Most hotels and lodges in the Magaliesburg region operate or coordinate shuttles to and from all major airports in Gauteng.
The Cradle of Humankind
A World Heritage Site and a remarkable tourist destination. It encompasses roughly 47,000 hectares of land steeped in history dating back to the very beginning of humankind. The Cradle holds fifteen major fossil sites, the most famous of these being Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.8 million year old skull of an Australopithicus Africanus – dubbed "Mrs Ples" was discovered in 1947.
Even deeper in the caves, encased in rock, the 3 million year old skeleton of "Little Foot" is currently being excavated. The best places to launch your adventure into this vast heritage site are from the visitor centres at either Sterkfontein Caves or Maropeng. At Maropeng, tours can be arranged to visit live digs at other fossil sites such as at Swartkrans.