6. NORTH WEST
104,882 km2 (40,495 sq mi)
The Bridge of Time at the Sun City Holiday Resorts is a fascinating structural feature. There is a big black hole blasting through a rough and imposing mountain structure, at the foot of which is a huge rock bridge flanked on either side by a herd of African elephants. At regular intervals, the mountain rumbles and releases smoke that drifts and swirls ethereally. This sums up what the North West province represents – the sheer majesty of Africa. Proud BaTswana people cohabiting with smaller groups that include Afrikaans, English, Sotho and Xhosa-speaking people. A province whose economy mainstay is mining – gold at Orkney, uranium in Klerksdorp, platinum in Rustenburg and diamonds in Lichtenburg. The northern and western parts of the province have many sheep farms and cattle and game ranches. Much of the province consists of flat areas of scattered trees and grassland. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast extends about 130 km (about 80 miles) from Pretoria to Rustenburg. The Vaal River, the very wellspring of the province’s vitality, flows along the southern border.