The Magaliesberg mountain range lies in between the highveld savannah of the Witwatersrand and the African bushveld, stretching roughly from past Rustenburg in the west, past Pretoria to Bronkhorstspruit in the east. This mountain range is almost 100 times older than Everest with interesting geology, archaeology, fauna and flora.
The Magaliesburg Mountains were formed well over 2 billion years ago, that’s older than Everest! Both turbulent and tranquil times have been witnessed by the ageing mountains. From Tribes to Voortrekkers, battles to great hunts, the Magaliesburg has seen it all!
The town and the mountain range are named after Chief Mohale, ruler of the Po people who were living in the area when the first settlers arrived. In former years the Magaliesberg region was home to big game, including elephant.
The Magaliesberg regions are well known for their farming of citrus and subtropical fruit . The mountain range itself is about 120km long with its highest peak being about 1 780m above sea level. Owing to the high ground that the range is on, it is only about 300m above terra firma!
Some of the rocks of the Magaliesburg include: Siliceous quartzite, Feldspathic quartzite, Shale, Slate and Hornfels, Norite and Gabbro, Diabase and Dolerite, Syenite and Dwyka Tillite.
The name Magaliesburg/Magaliesberg is actually a corruption of the name of Mohale Mohale (A statue can be seen in Krugersdorp). Mohale Mohale was chief of the Po tribe way back in the days of the Voortrekkers. It has been applied to the name of a village, a river and of course the Mountain range for which the areas is famous for.
There are 3 major dams in the area, namely, Hartbeespoort Dam, Olifants Nek Dam (near Rustenburg) and Buffelspoort Dam (near Mooi Nooi).
Near to Hartbeespoort Dam is a world class Atomic Research Station, Pelindaba. Pelindaba is a Zulu word meaning the End of the Debate!
The Witwatersrand is a high quartzite ridge that runs parellel with the Magaliesburg Mountains.
Construction work on Hartebeespoort Dam began in 1916 and was completed in 1923. The dam has a capacity of over 195 million cubic metres! Construction of the Olifantsnek Dam began in 1926 and was completed in 1932. It has a capacity of only 14 million cubic metres.
Buffelspoort dam was completed in 1933 and has a capacity of only 10.7 million cubic metres.
Some of the rocks of the Magaliesburg include: Siliceous quartzite, Feldspathic quartzite, Shale, Slate and Hornfels, Norite and Gabbro, Diabase and Dolerite, Syenite and Dwyka Tillite. An excellent shop for crystals and rocks is Crystal Feeling in Magaliesburg.
There are over 120 different species of trees in the Magaliesburg area.
Over 100 various types of grasses! Many years ago elephant and lion used to walk these valleys until hunters decimated them.
Leopard are still seen in the secluded kloofs and ravines.
Over 90 species of mammals!
More than 300 species of birds!
17 Species of frogs!
20 Species of lizards!
Over 30 Species of snakes (vast majority harmeless!)