6 Days 5 Nights
The Magaliesberg Biosphere was proclaimed an international Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO on 9 June 2015, having been recognised for its exceptional natural, cultural and human characteristics. Biospheres are demonstration sites that harness the natural and cultural assets of the area to promote socio-economic improvement for the community, and enjoyment for visitors, through the sustainable use of the natural resource. The Magaliesberg Biosphere is 360 000 hectares, and extends approximately 120 km west to east across the boundary of the North West and Gauteng Provinces of South Africa, spanning the Magaliesberg Mountains between the cities of Rustenburg in the west and Pretoria in the east.
The Magaliesberg Biosphere lies at the interface of two great African biomes – the central grassland plateaux and the sub-Saharan savanna – with remnants of a third, Afromontane forest. The landscape contains species from each of these biomes and the result is an exceptionally diverse fauna and flora that has drawn naturalists and explorers to the region for the past two centuries. The biodiversity is matched by its unique human history encompassing a million-year timeline from early hominids through Stone and Iron Age cultures, pre-colonial Tswana tradition and the South African Wars. In short, it is a priceless encapsulation of South African heritage and landscape and serves as a focal point for national unity and pride, that should be protected and utilised sustainably for the benefit of the biosphere community and for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.
The Magaliesberg Biosphere has two core zones, the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and the Magaliesberg Protected Environment. These areas are mostly conservation areas, protected by legislation within the environmental legal framework of the country. The biosphere buffer zone surrounds the core zones and also comprises informally protected areas such as nature reserves, conservancies and other areas that demonstrate biodiversity stewardship.