The Hartbeespoort dam region is a focal point for many different people and activities. The lake created by the dam has brought people from all walks of life to the area for the associated activities surrounding the water. The landscape of the region is vast as well. From the desert-like conditions to the rocky mountain cliffs, to the lush vegetation around the lake, there is something for all.
There is the cable-car trip on the longest single cable in Africa. It is on the Arendsnes farm. In English that means "Eagle’s Nest." This area is the home of the Black Eagle, which is on the endangered species list. This eagle has a white V of feathers on its back and white panels under its wings. It is by far the largest of the eagles in South Africa, measuring up to 84cm in height. You may also see the African Hawk Eagle (see picture below) in this area too. The hawk eagle is dark with a white spotted breast and grows up to 65cm tall.
On Sunday mornings the rumble of hundreds of motorcycles can be heard throughout the region. It is the weekly ride to the dam for breakfast from Johannesburg and Pretoria for the men and women bikers.
There are the many game preserves in the region. Visits to the Cradle of Humankind, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, Leopard Lodge or the Planesberg National Park are all within short drives of this area. For family water fun, there is the lake, of course, but a short distance away is the Valley of the Waves located in the Lost City of Sun City.
In Broederstroom there is the outdoor flea market. Be prepared to barter, for it is the way of life here. Be prepared, for there are all kinds of salespeople here as well. The vast majority are honest. However, beware: there are a few that will approach you for donations or to pawn gold or silver trinkets. My suggestion is to be firm, say "NO," and walk away. Yes, they will follow you and keep trying, but by staying firm they will eventually leave you alone.
Definitely the vendors in the stalls are great to deal with. Each stall carries a wide variety of African items, from artwork to zebra wood carvings and from "Zulu" tribal reproductions to African metal works or stone carvings. Some have suggested prices on the articles, others do not, regardless you still barter.
It will benefit you to walk through all the stalls before buying, even if you find that "perfect" item. I visited the market on two separate occasions during my 7-week stay and found that prices varied greatly. One of my goals was to purchase a set of African drums similar to bongo drums in North America. On my first trip I found a pair for 700Rand. Bartering brought it down to 500Rand, still more than I wanted to pay. During my second visit to the market I spotted a pair of drums and by bartering for them ended up paying 130Rand. In US funds at the time I went from $100 to $18 in cost – great savings.
Try it, it’s fun!!! Be fair, they do have to make a living. Great bargains can be had.
For more information visit their website .