Monday 1 July 2019


I started the South Africa Small Towns Holiday Guide Series as a way to show off the best small town getaways in SA. Too often people focus on the big cities for holidays and don't take advantage of the amazing small towns. 

I've discovered some hidden gems all around the country, all near major cities, which make them perfect for day trips or long weekend getaways. 

To start off the series I have a Midlands Meander Travel Guide, Hartebeespoort Travel Guide and KZN South Coast Travel Guide. Next on the agenda is possibly a Stellenbosch Travel Guide and Clarens Travel Guide so let me know if you enjoy this series!

Getting to Hartbeespoort

Nearest city: Pretoria +/- 40km; Johannesburg +/- 80km

Being a short 45 minutes to one hour drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria, this North West getaway is popular for Gauteng residents. Who doesn't love Harties?

Kind of traveller: It suits someone who enjoys outdoor activities and watersports. It's also perfect as a day trip from Johannesburg or even just a weekend lunch.

How long do you need there: A day trip or one night stay is sufficient

When to visit: Preferably summer or spring/autumn as most activities are outdoors and winter can be quite cold

Where to stay in Hartbeespoort

You have so many different options for accommodation with the added bonus of there being a lot of airbnbs in the area. Many people who live in Gauteng have holiday homes in Hartbeespoort to take a break from the city.

You can use Airbnb or to find accommodation in Hartbeespoort.

Restaurants in the Hartbeespoort

To be honest I don't remember names of many of the restaurants I visited in the area apart from Stef's Table and French Toast Koffie Kafee. After asking around here are some suggestions:

Stef's Table - the perfect date night restaurant. It's fairly expensive but the food is delicious and ambiance is so worth it. European Cuisine.

Koffie Kaffee - This place is #iconic and probably one of the most popular places in Harties. French cuisine.

Silver Orange Bistro - it's difficult to get a table here during busy seasons (I didn't) but I've heard so many good things about this place. 

Vovo Telo - a franchise most of us are familiar with, a cafe that's perfect for brunch

Activities in the Hartbeespoort

Harties Cableway - The aerial cableway is definitely one of the biggest highlights of Harties. Once you get to the top you get to enjoy the stunning view of the dam, have delicious dining options for lunch with a view.

Pretville - Pretville is a movie set which opened to the public. It's a great place to take photos and visit the old school diner. 

Lion and Safari Park - Imagine getting to actually touch a whole entire lion - that's one of the unforgettable experience you can have here. There are also tons of other animals like giraffes etc.

Hartbeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park - The zoo is extensive compared to most I've visited in the country and definitely worth a visit

Little Paris - One of the most well known things in Harties is Little Paris. It has a whole Parisian vibe that makes you forget you're in the North West. You can visit the cafe and little shops in the area. Also lots of photo ops!

Watersports at the dam - while I didn't personally do any waterspouts at the dam, it's an attraction for many people. They have everything from tube rides to jet skis, ferry rides and more.

This is just a brief summary of the Hartbeespoort to hopefully spark your interest in what the region has to offer. A quick google search will help you find other interesting facts and things to do. I visited Harties for the first time in 2018 and went back at least 4 times since so it's definitely a favorite of mine! And I know there's a lot more I need to discover in the region. 

Did I miss out any fun things to do in Harties? Let me know in the comments. 


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