3 luxury retreats in South Africa's rugged North West

Flanked by the Kalahari Desert and Magaliesberg mountain range, South Africa’s North West province is famous for its rugged hills and vast plains of untamed African bushveld. This malaria-free region is within easy reach of Johannesburg and makes a convenient escape from the city. And with its sophisticated collection of luxury accommodation, there is no reason to rough it!


El Shadai Guest House, Hartbeespoort

Hartbeespoort is a 45 minute drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria. From the aerial cable way and hot air ballooning to beer tasting and golfing, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Hartbeespoort. The dam is popular for water sports and you’ll find a number of wildlife encounters nearby, including the Elephant Sanctuary and De Wildt Cheetah Centre.

El Shadai Guest House room

Travellers who don’t want to venture much further can enjoy a relaxing stay at El Shadai, a 4-star guest house in the Magalies Mountains. The modern building offers a quiet retreat where panoramic views over Hartbeespoort Dam can be enjoyed from your room, the bubbling Jacuzzi, or feature rock pool.

El Shadai Guest House

Tshukudu, Pilanesberg

At 2 and a half hours’ drive from Johannesburg, Pilanesberg lies in the crater of an ancient volcano and is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Pilanesberg National Park stands high above the surrounding bushveld plains and is ideal for Big 5 safaris. Take a self-drive, book a guided game drive, or experience game viewing by elephant-back. For a more urban experience, the Sun City resort has a casino, Valley of the Waves water park, golf courses, theatre, gourmet restaurants, and more.

Tshukudu deck

After a day outdoors, slip back into luxury at Tshukudu. Perched on a hillside, the 4-star bush lodge overlooks a waterhole and vast savannah plain where wildlife sightings are the norm rather than the exception. Each custom designed lodge has a sunken bath, open plan lounge and bedroom with fireplace, and private balcony. Tshuduku’s African inspired cuisine is the perfect way to end the day.

Tshukudu bath

Motswiri Private Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve

For a remote Big 5 safari experience, Madikwe Game Reserve is a lesser known reserve on the border of Botswana, close to the Kalahari Desert. The 4 hour drive from Johannesburg is worth it as Madikwe is one of the best conservation areas in Africa and home to a thriving population of endangered African wild dogs. Since much of the bushveld was originally cleared for farming purposes, the open grassy plains make it ideal for spotting wildlife.

Motswiri Lodge room

Taking its name “Motswiri” from the Tswana word for the rare and protected Leadwood trees that surround the 5 luxury bush villas, Motswiri Private Safari Lodge offers an exclusive experience for up to 10 guests. Each villa has its own deck and the intimate setting allows for complete peace and privacy. With a rim-flow pool overlooking the waterhole, cocktails enjoyed on the main deck, and a spa massage in the privacy of your own room, there’s really no reason to rough it in the bush.

Motswiri Lodge

What luxury retreats would you recommend in South Africa’s North West province?

Marcel Van de Ghinste is a Director at TravelGround.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (1)

  1. Marlene says:

    I´m a big fan of Sanbona! Not for away from Cape Town in the beautiful Karoo and on the route 62. Wonderful place to dine, stay and have some awesome game drives. Also you can find white lions there!

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