Discover your roots and find your soul just 45 minutes from Jozi

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

City life is nice, but it has a tendency to catch up with us. So when it all gets too much, we need to relax and refresh.

Courtesy of Captain Morgan, I was able to explore the natural side of South Africa.

Just 45 minutes north west of Johannesburg and a 15-minute drive from Lanseria Airport lies The Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site.

Not far from there lies the delightful resort Glen Afric. It is a romantic escape where you can enjoy good food, good wine and personal service. It also caters for weddings, conferences and private functions.

Just down the road, Valverde Country Hotel is a perfect destination for relaxation. It is surrounded by wonderful waterfalls and a landscaped garden with colourful flowerbeds. The estate provides guests with an air of intimate solitude.

While in the area make a pilgrimage to the dawn of humanity, the Sterkfontein Caves, in a dolomite hill in the Isaac Stegman Nature Reserve. This is where the famous "Mrs Ples", or plesianthropus transvaalensis, was discovered by Robert Broom. The famous physician and paleontologist described the site as the anthropological treasure house of the world. Hour-long guided tours are conducted every 30 minutes from Tuesday to Sunday.

A combination tour to Sterkfontein and the Lion and Rhino Park can be arranged on request. The park has white rhinos, hippos, lions, Siberian and Bengal tigers, cheetahs and wild dogs

Game drives with experienced Satour registered guides allow visitors to experience wildlife up close. On a night drive the fascinating nocturnal habits of the animals can be observed.

A few kilometres away is Maropeng, a world-class exhibition centre that complements the discovery at Sterkfontein.

To experience South African indigenous culture, visit Lesedi African Lodge, a multicultural village set among pristine bushveld and rocky hills. You'll see the vibrant and colourful traditions of the Basotho, Ndebele, Pedi, Xhosa and Zulu people on a short tour. Or if you prefer, you can stay overnight at the Cultural Village. Enjoy a true African cultural experience in the Nyama Choma restaurant.

Another hot spot is Manzingwe Resort, a four-star lodge with 27 suites offering total privacy in the harmonious surroundings of the Witwatersberg mountain range. Indulge yourself at the Impala Restaurant, a la carte for breakfast, lunch or dinner with an enormous buffet on Sundays. The Zebra Lounge offers a more relaxed atmosphere, perfect for light snacks and sundowners on the deck overlooking the pool area.

The four conference rooms make for easy conferencing, and afterwards guests can relax with team building activities, game drives, soul walks or a sundowner cruise.

If you love roses, visit Rudi's Roses. The farm has more than 150 varieties of roses. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 5pm. Admire the beautiful blooms over a cup of tea or coffee with the Magaliesberg as a backdrop, or wander through the rose garden and pick out that special rose for yourself or a loved one.

Visit Dirt Ryder Adventure Park for a fun-filled day of adventure. Take off your shoes, relax, enjoy a braai and unwind mind and soul. The venue has go-karts, paint ball, a kiddies play centre, swimming pools, pony rides and volleyball. This venue is also suitable for team-building and parties.