Adventure Galore on the Crocodile Ramble
Located within a 45 minute drive from O.R. Tambo (Johannesburg International) Airport in South Africa’s North-West Province, the fascinating Crocodile Ramble, which includes the Cradle of Humankind and the Ramble through Hartebeespoort, welcomes visitors to enjoy hours of pleasant exploring. Ramblers can expect to find a wide variety of interesting activities, products and services. These include arts and crafts studios, hand-made jewelry and furniture, indigenous nurseries, picnic and camping spots, restaurants and tea gardens, adventure activities, nature reserves, as well as birding, 4×4, hiking and horse trails.
The many arts and crafts galleries along the Crocodile Ramble include the Akha Moma Museum of Modern Art, Firenze Gallery and Alice Art Gallery which displays and sells paintings, sculptures, gifts and collectables by South African artists. Chris Patton’s Ceramics offers a variety of decorative pieces and functional ware, as well as terra cotta bird feeders, all of which have been thrown and decorated at his studio workshop. The Mukondeni Fine Arts Gallery features sculptures, paintings, clay pots and a variety of functional art pieces by leading South African artists.
The Fort West Heritage Village, which forms part of the Crocodile Ramble, includes Gauteng’s largest historical fort, dating back to 1893. Visitors can take a walk through the fort and the 19th century village, stopping in at the 1897 post office shop and café. The Heritage Hiking Trail takes visitors to the 16th century Bavenda stone town ruins, and farm fresh milk and eggs can be bought from the restored 1898 Van Vuuren Farm. This lovely setting, which provides a peaceful haven from the hustle and bustle of city life, is currently being renovated into a village of galleries, theaters and restaurants.
Visitors exploring the Crocodile Ramble have several adventure activities to choose from. Fulfill your fantasy to fly by taking a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the Cradle of Humankind and the Magalies River Valley, or get a bird’s eye view of the magnificent game reserve areas and spot some of the resident animals. If heights are not for you, take a game drive at one of the game reserves in the area and enjoy the African bush while expert guides point out carefully camouflaged animals. Another option is the adventure of an elephant-back safari. The Elephant Sanctuary is home to six African elephants – each with their own unique personality – and arrangements can be made to walk with, touch and feed these magnificent animals. Water sports on the Hartebeespoort Dam include jet-skiing, parasailing, tube-riding, waterskiing and wave-snaking. For the less energetic, enjoy a leisurely sundowner cruise across the tranquil waters.
Ostri-San invites visitors to meet the San Bushmen, feed the ostriches and even see how an ostrich egg is incubated. Hand-carved and hand-painted eggs, as well as leather handbags, wallets, shoes and more can be purchased. Visitors can enjoy a traditional Zulu meal accompanied by lively Zulu dancing at the authentic Zulu village of Phumangena u Muzi.
There is no doubt that South Africa’s Crocodile Ramble has plenty to offer visitors, with the only problem being trying to decide what to do first.