North West Province

Description:
Known as the “Heritage Province”, the North West is a rewarding holiday destination that offers exciting wildlife and adventure encounters as well as the opportunity to participate in a rich cultural and historical heritage. The North-West Province provides a link between South Africa and Botswana.

Reasons for Visiting North West:

  • Pilanesberg National Park – The Pilanesberg National Park, which covers some 55 000 hectare, is the fourth largest in southern Africa. This malaria-free park is perched on the eroded vestiges of an alkaline volcanic crater; one of only three such craters in the world.
  • Sun City Resort – The Lost City is the obvious highlight of the Sun City complex and the Palace of the Lost City with its extravagant lost-world theme and African feel, is one of the most famous hotels in the world.
  • Madikwe Game Reserve – Madikwe Game Reserve is about 70 000 hectares of bushland, about 5 hours’ drive from Johannesburg. It is one of South Africa’s largest and most popular game reserves and serves as home for cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, lion, elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and more.
  • De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Trust – The De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Trust facility has gained international recognition for bringing the cheetah back from the brink of extinction through its captive breeding programs.

Population in North West:
3, 400, 000

Climate:
The climate of the Northwest Territories is diverse. The southern part of the province is more temperate, with mild, long summer days and short, very cold winter days. The northern part of the province experiences Arctic and sub-Arctic conditions in winter and temperatures are far more extreme. Temperatures at Yellowknife reach a maximum average of about 68°F (20°C) in July and a minimum average of about -26°F (-32°C) in January. July and August are the wettest months.

Climate Sun City

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Relative humidity

65 67 70 67 64 62 58 46 50 55 62 67
Hours of sun 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 10 9 9 8 8

Precipitation sum

128 97 91 46 21 8 7 7 21 71 111 113

Precipitation days

14 13 13 10 4 4 1 1 7 14 18 18

Climate Hartbeespoort

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Relative humidity

65 67 70 67 64 62 58 46 50 55 62 67
Hours of sun 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 10 9 9 8 8

Precipitation sum

128 97 91 46 21 8 7 7 21 71 111 113

Precipitation days

14 13 13 10 4 4 1 1 7 14 18 18

Best Time to Visit:
Forming the southern part of the Kalahari Desert the North West Province offers almost year-round sunshine. Best months are September and October, the park is dry, animals congrate at pools and rivers which makes them more easy to find, temperature is hot during the dy and nice summer evenings.

Languages:
64.8% Tswana
9.2% Afrikaans
7.6% Xhosa
6.8% Sotho
3.4% Tsonga

Religion:
Mainly Christian Beliefs

Currency:
South African Rand (ZAR)

Tipping:
Tipping indicates appreciation for good service
Tipping is widely practiced in South Africa. Here is some information on South African tipping.

  • In restaurants and bars, 10% is the accepted tipping standard.
  • Parking attendants and security guards are common in parking lots and at roadside bays. They generally ask if they can watch your car while you are going about your business – if you agree, a tip of R2 and up should be offered, depending on the length of your stay.
  • In South Africa we still have the luxury of petrol attendants at gas stations to fill up our vehicle tanks, check oil, water and tyre pressure, and clean the windscreens, a tip of R2 and up should be offered.
  • The going rate for porters at airports is around R7 per piece of luggage.
  • Some of the other service providers you may want to tip are taxi drivers, tour guides and assistants in hairdressers and beauty salons. Should you need assistance in taking your purchases from supermarket to your vehicle, you may want to show your gratitude to your helper with a small monetary reward.

Social Customs:
South Africa is a very multicultural society and therefore has many different customs. Some examples:

  • Our English customs are the same as Britain because South Africa was once a British colony and was influenced greatly by them.
  • The Afrikaans customs, these were influenced by the Dutch immigrants during the late 1820’s.
  • The Zulu culture has many unusual customs that are different from today’s western cultures. These are some traditional Zulu customs which are still practiced in parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal.