Hartbeespoort is a resort town north of Johannesburg. It is widely known for the Hartbeespoort Dam. Both are visible from the Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway, which ascends to the top of the Magaliesberg mountains.
Should you translate Hartbeespoort into English, it means “gateway of the Hartbees” – a type of antelope. Hartbeespoort is the collective name of a few smaller towns including Schoemansville from where Lapa @ Harties trades.
Schoemansville, named after General Hendrik Schoeman, a Boer General in the Anglo-Boer War, who owned the farm that the Hartbeespoort Dam was built on, is the oldest neighbourhood of Hartbeespoort.
The Hartbeespoort Dam, best known as Harties, is an arch type dam situated in the North West Province of South Africa. It lies in a valley to the south of the Magaliesberg mountain range.
The dam wall is 149.5 metres long and 59.4 metres high, built across a gorge cutting through the Magaliesberg and a single-laned, tarmac road skirts the water’s edge on the north side; along its route it passes through a 56.6 metre long tunnel and also crosses the dam wall.
Although the dam’s original design was for irrigation, it attracted tourists from across the globe. Many boats roam the waters of the dam offering entertainment to holiday makers. Its shores also offers ample places to stay as well as party venues, such as the Lapa & Harties.
The Magaliesberg in the northern part of South Africa, is a modest but well-defined mountain range composed mainly of quartzite. It rises at a point south of the Pilanesberg to form a curved prominence that intersects suburban Pretoria before it peters out some 50 kilometers to the east. The highest point is about 1,852 meters above sea level.
This mountain range supports a variety of different habitats from grasslands and bushveld savannah to inaccessible forested kloofs with over 130 tree species and an astounding variety of flowers, ferns, grasses and fungi.
On 9 June 2015 the Magaliesberg has been declared a World Biosphere Reserve.
While you are celebrating at Lapa @ Harties, just look up and appreciate the grandeur of this 2300-million-year-old majestic mountain as it portraits itself against the sky behind the lapa.
The Magaliesberg Mountain forms a perfect background for any occasion. Be sure to make use of this stunning backdrop when taking pictures of weddings, birthdays, family gatherings, year-end functions or anniversaries.
CRADLE OF HUMANKIND
The area around the Magaliesberg range has seen extremely lengthy occupation by humans dating back at least 2 million years ago.
The Cradle of Humankind, close to the town of Magaliesburg, was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. The name Cradle of Humankind reflects that the site has produced a large number of (as well as some of the oldest) hominin fossils ever found, some dating back as far as 3.5 million years ago.
The hominin remains at the Cradle of Humankind are found in dolomitic caves and are often encased in a mixture of limestone and other sediments called breccia and fossilised over time. Hominids may have lived all over Africa, but their remains are found only at sites where conditions allowed for the formation and preservation of fossils.
The Cradle of Humankind is lying South of Hartbeespoort and it will take approximately an hour to reach the site. It currently occupies 47,000 hectares and contains a complex of limestone caves.
When adoring the prestine landscapes around the Lapa @ Harties, one can’t help but to wonder how our forebears enjoyed their parties…