• Photo: orangecrush / Shutterstock

The Magaliesberg

The Magaliesberg Mountains (actually rolling hills) stretch 120 km (74 miles) between Pretoria and the town of Rustenburg. The South African War once raged here, and the remains of British blockhouses can still be seen. The region is most remarkable, however, for its natural beauty—grassy slopes, streams running through the ferns, waterfalls plunging into pools, and dramatic rock formations. It's an outdoor lover's paradise: go hiking, mountain biking, zip lining, or horseback riding; swim in crystal streams; picnic in one of the natural hideaways; or take a balloon flight at dawn followed by a Champagne breakfast. It's also home to the large Hartbeespoort Dam, a water-sports hot spot. You can get a great view of the Magaliesberg from atop them by riding up in the Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway, a highly recommended attraction.

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