RUSTENBURG IN SOUTH AFRICA
Officially founded in 1851 by Boers who had trekked into the area a decade earlier, Rustenburg is one of the oldest towns in the North West province and makes for a great base from which to explore areas of interest throughout the region. By far the best-known Rustenburg attractions are the nature reserves that are all within striking distance of the town. But for those more culturally minded there are some magnificent churches to be seen, including the Anglican Church (1871) and the Dutch Reformed Church (1898 -1903). There are a multitude of sites with cultural and historical significance in and around Rustenburg. This is no surprise, given the many different communities in the area, such as the indigenous Bafokeng, Bakgatla and Botswana tribes, whose totemic tribal traditions are of much interest. There is also the German community of Kroondal that traces its origins back to 1857. Pilanesberg National Park is one of the most accessible South African game reserves. It is the 4th largest in the country and is set high in the Pilanesberg mountain range, traversing the floor of an ancient, long-extinct volcano. Pilanesberg features all the major mammal species including the Big 5 lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The Hartebeespoort dam is another nearby attraction offering plenty of activities near Rustenburg as well as providing irrigation for the entire region. A favored site for water sports, the dam has many resorts, boat clubs and picnic sites scattered along its banks. Easily accessible and filled with entertainment, Rustenburg is located on major highway routes and offers a wide range of activities for the visitor. Far from peaceful as its name would suggest, Rustenburg is the throbbing center of the North West province.