Most local South Africans, when asked about Gauteng, would mention something along the lines of gold, money or business. Gauteng actually means “Place of Gold” and it is most definitely South Africa’s financial capital. However, all work and no play isn’t much fun!

Gauteng Country Getaways
The Magaliesberg region is a country paradise of mountains, streams and lush valleys in which a number of superb country getaways are situated. The Magaliesberg Mountains, west of Johannesburg, feature scenic hiking and 4X4 trails. If you are a 4×4 enthusiast and quite advanced in terms of your driving skills, venture to the south-west of Johannesburg to Hennops, which offers a variety of routes that take anything from an hour to four hours to complete. The routes include difficult axle-twisters on up-hills and rocky climbs to really get the adrenalin rushing!

Balloon Safaris
If you are looking for an adventurous outing for the whole family, include a trip to the Magalies River Valley. Only 65km away from Johannesburg, hot air ballooning in Skeerpoort gives you the chance to gently float over the beautiful landscape followed by a champagne breakfast. It is advised that only children seven and older be allowed on these balloon safaris.

Gauteng’s other attractions include exhilarating Balloon Safaris, the Dinokeng Nature Reserve, water sports at the Hartbeespoort Dam, the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens and the Lion Park, to name just a few.

The Lion Park, which is located just outside Johannesburg, is one of the very few places where visitors can see the rare white lion. There are over 80 lions at the Park, as well as a number of other carnivores such as cheetahs, wild dogs and the brown hyena. A popular attraction at Lion Park is Cub World, where you can get up-close and personal with lion cubs, interact with them and even take a few photographs.

Back to Beginnings
Gauteng unlocks some of the mysteries about the beginning of humankind. Declared a World Heritage Site in 2000, the Sterkfontein Caves were aptly named the “Cradle of Humankind”. Back in 1947 an archaeologist by the name of Dr. Broom discovered a complete skull of an adult female dating back between 2.6 and 2.8 million years, the oldest yet found. Excavations continue, and tourists are given the privilege to go down into the caves and explore for themselves. Even the kids can get their hands a little dirty here.

The cultural side of Gauteng
Gauteng features numerous museums and galleries, as well as Gold Reef City, a large entertainment complex which transports you back to the time when gold was first discovered in the Johannesburg area. A combination of fun, facts and fantasy should keep you and your family suitably entertained.

Although South Africa’s smallest province, Gauteng is also one of its most cosmopolitan and offers diverse experiences. Exclusive Getaways consultants can recommend a fine selection of accommodation choices during your stay when making an Exclusive Getaways booking.

Author Bio:
Exclusive Getaways South Africa is a traveller’s collection of celebrated Gauteng Country and safari getaways and has an appealing variety of other nature escapes, lodges and notable city hotels.