Driving in Sun City, South Africa
Sun City is a premier resort town located just a short 2-hour drive from Johannesburg in the north-west province near Rustenburg. It’s considered by many to be the South African Las Vegas.
The resort includes a casino, hotels, a couple of top class 18 hole golf courses and a fun theme park. There are plenty of attractions, entertainment, activities and facilities to suit everyone here and it’s surrounded by Pilanesberg National Park, so you’ll get the opportunity to explore the countryside or take a safari day trip as well.
The holiday resort of Sun City was designed and created by Sol Kerzner of the Sun International hotel group. The location proposed for the resort was Bophuthatswana, which became independent in 1977. The day after it gained independence Sun City opened. Of course with the large metropolitan areas of Johannesburg and Pretoria located nearby there was no shortage of visitors in the early days as a weekend spot. Since then Sun City has gained worldwide popularity as a vacation destination.
If you’re a fan of golfing then you will be pleased to know that Sun City’s golf courses have been designed by one of South Africa’s most famous golfers, Gary Player. These include the Gary Player Country Club, which is host to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, and the Lost City Golf Course, which is famous for its 13th hole – it has real crocodiles guarding the water hazard!
There are a number of top class hotels including the Sun City Hotel which is the oldest hotel in the resort, dating back to the seventies. There’s also the Cascades Hotel, which is famous for its 7740 m² of waterworks including 12 manmade waterfalls and cataracts. The Cabanas is the most casual of the hotels. It’s surrounded by rich, landscaped gardens which stand in stark contrast to the arid surrounding landscapes. The Palace of the Lost City is a highly detailed recreation of a fairytale castle not just on the outside, but also on the inside with its elegant ceiling frescos and mosaics.
What to see in the area surrounding Sun City?
Sun City has lots to see and do and if you’re looking for an action packed activity holiday it’s definitely worth considering. The area surrounding Sun City also offers a real taste of South Africa and is worth exploring.
If you want to see some of the safari areas you can drive out to the Kruger National Park which occupies an area of 20,000 km². It’s perhaps the most famous park in South Africa and it’s the flagship park in the South African National Parks organisation (SANPark). The area is divided into 14 different zones and each is dedicated to different forms of African wildlife including lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos. The park has a large number of camp sites that you can visit, these come in all shapes and sizes so you can check them out to make sure you find one that suits.
If you don’t want to travel all the way to Kruger National Park, you can visit Pilanesberg National Park, (beside Sun City) which although smaller still manages to give you an excellent taste of African wildlife. It’s located just a few kilometres drive away and it’s officially a malaria free area. Within the park you can make your way around in your own car. There are numerous spots to stop off and have lunch where you can observe the animals in safety.
On the way out (or perhaps on the way back) to Pilanesberg National Park from Sun City you can visit Kwena Crocodile Farm.
Of course as well as these parks you can take day trips to Johannesburg and Pretoria. These two cities have a huge amount to offer the exploring tourist with Johannesburg being the largest city in the country and Pretoria being one of the capitals (administrative capital) of South Africa.
Why not hire a car in Sun City?
As you can tell, there’s so much to see and do in the region surrounding Sun City. There’s an airport in Sun City but it only serves domestic flights so if you wish to go to Sun City you will probably have to come through Johannesburg or Pretoria anyway. You can catch a bus or train but the best way is definitely to hire a car. Seeing South Africa by car means you can take your time and explore properly. Most of the signposts are in English and the driving is on the left so anyone from the British Isles and Ireland should be right at home on these roads.
While South Africa has a reputation for crime, if you’re vigilant and wary you shouldn’t have any worries. It’s recommended you drive during the day because you may come across animals that have wandered onto the road during the night – in some places there aren’t any fences alongside the road.
If you’ve been to Sun City please drop us a line in the comment box below and let us know any valuable tips for visiting the area. Or indeed, if you’re planning a trip to Sun City and have any questions about car hire, just get in contact.