Rustenburg, which is located one hundred and twelve kilometers northwest of Johannesburg and translates loosely as “Peaceful Place,” is one of the oldest towns in the area. It is indeed a laid-back place where the locals make time to go hiking and climbing in the nearby Magaliesberg Mountains.
About the most exciting thing that has happened since platinum was discovered here, has been the extension of the Royal Bafokeng Stadium to a seating capacity of 42,000, and the installation of new floodlights and electronic scoreboards for the 2010 FIFA World Soccer Cup.
Otherwise, Rustenburg semi-slumbers on while it continues to offer the following fine tourist destinations:
Kgaswane Mountain ReserveThe Kgaswane Mountain Reserve in the hills above the town covers forty square kilometers within which are towering quartzite peaks and shallow grassy lakes providing magnificent hikes and views of sable antelope, grey duiker, kudu, oribi, zebra, and waterbuck, as well as occasional glimpses of caracal, black-backed jackal, and even leopards.
Rustenburg Nature ReserveRustenburg Nature Reserve at the western end of the Magaliesberg Protected Natural Environment lies within four thousand five hundred hectares on a farm once owned by President Paul Kruger. The vegetation varies across the expanse from grassland and scrub to mixed woodland, ensuring an ever-changing vista of plant and animal life. Wildlife includes oribi, common duiker, klipspringer, reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, kudu, red hartebeest and sable, all of which are preyed upon by leopard, caracal, brown hyena and black-backed jackal. Vulture, martial and black eagles occur.
The malaria-free Pilansberg National Park is the fourth largest in Southern Africa, covering fifty five thousand hectares, and embraces one of only three alkaline volcanic craters in the world. Before it was proclaimed a National Park in 1979, the land was degraded and much wildlife had disappeared because of human habitation and intensive agriculture. The scars of human settlement have been removed and the game restocked in one of the largest and most expensive rehabilitation projects undertaken anywhere in Africa.
Palace of the Lost CityThe Palace of the Lost City thirty kilometers away is a hotel and entertainment complex that includes a casino, wild rides, and much more. The architecture is based on an ancient city like Ankor Wat, which may look incongruous in the dry African bushveld on first sight, but soon lulls you into its illusion as you enter its walls and wander through amazing rooms.
Rustenburg is a laid-back place that can offer just about anything you may desire. Enjoy the soccer and casino – but also leave some time to listen to the heartbeat of nature in one of the fine reserves.