Finders Keepers Treasures in the North West

Finders Keepers Cheetah
Sunday Times Finders Keepers and Explorer
Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre
DeWildt (near Brits)
NorthWest Province
Photograph: John Hogg/Sunday Times
06 June 2016.

Continuing on their journey to make a lucky Sunday Times reader R1 million rand richer and acquaint South Africans with the joys of local travel, the TOMSA/Sunday Times Finders Keepers team have reached the North West province – Bokone bophirima.

There, Sunday Times travel editor Paul Ash visited the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre near Brits. The world renowned centre has bred some 600 cheetahs, successfully contributing to the animal’s removal from the list of endangered species in South Africa.

A trip up the Harties Cableway provided spectacular panoramic views of the Magaliesberg Mountains and the Hartebeespoort Dam. By visiting a number of cultural hot spots during the day, the team learnt more about the local people’s cultures, while the evening was spent singing, dancing and feasting at the Lesedi Cultural Village. At the Moruleng Cultural Precinct, the team visited the Mphebatho Museum, the Dutch Reformed Mission Church and ancient settlement patterns, catching a glimpse into Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela traditions and a worldview before the arrival of Christianity and capitalism.

While the North West is rich in gold, arguably its greatest treasure is its wildlife, being home to the world famous Pilanesburg National Park. The team visited and stayed over at a number of fine TOMSA levy contributor establishments in the area, including Bakubung (‘place of the hippo’) Bush Lodge, the Thakadu River Camp – a game lodge on the banks of the Marico River, the Madikwe Game Reserve, and Thaba Legae Guest Lodge. The CEO of the TBCSA/TOMSA, Ms Mmatšatši Ramawela joined the Sunday Times team on their visit of the Paul Kruger Country museum inside Kedar lodge just outside Rustenburg and Pilanesberg National Park where the team enjoyed a game drive and bush braai experience courtesy of Bakubung Game Lodge located inside the park. The Paul Kruger Country Museum is a national monument that gives insight into the life of South Africa’s first state President during a time of struggle for sovereignty against the British Empire.

Of course, no visit to North West is complete without stopping in at the world renowned Sun City resort. While no one could call Sun City a “hidden” gem, it is perhaps the province’s most sparkly one, where the team had the opportunity to indulge in fun, fantasy and a bit of gaming. They finished off the exciting day’s activities by spenidng the night at Sun City’s luxurious Palace of the Lost City courtesy of Sun International – another long standing supporter of TOMSA.

For more on the Finders Keepers team’s adventures and destinations, as well as the chance to win R1 million and fabulous holiday prizes sponsored by TOMSA levy contributors, get the Sunday Times this Sunday and register for the competition on or dial *120*3937#