In the landlocked province of the North West, we’d wager the last thing you’d expect to stumble across would be a beach paradise, water slides galore and an amusement park. But that’s exactly what travellers will find just a short drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria. The Sun City Resort has been splashing up fun in the sun for the whole family since it opened in 1979. That’s 40 years of magical moments for both young and old. In 2006, it underwent a multi-million rand refurbishment to give it a much-needed facelift.
Today, families of all sizes can enjoy a fun-filled holiday resort experience crafted out of the human imagination, amidst a “lost city” setting in the middle of the South African bushveld. The resort hugs the border of the Pilanesberg National Park creating an easy bush-and-beach break combo.
With a temperate climate year-round, it’s an appealing destination in every season. Summer days are hot with those famous Highveld thunderstorms crackling into life most afternoons. Winter days are drier and cooler with maximum daily temperatures of 23ºC. The nights are chilly so dress warmly. Some say the cooler winter days, out of season, is the best time to visit.
The resort is understandably busy during the school holidays, so book ahead and note that the famous Valley of the Waves usually closes for one month during the winter for annual maintenance.
Sun City is a two and a half-hour drive from Johannesburg and a two-hour drive from Pretoria. The Pilanesberg International Airport is just a 15-minute drive from the resort serviced by SAA flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more accessible and hassle-free bush and break combo than the Sun City Resort and Pilanesberg National Park. Admittedly, the perfectly timed waves churning out on the beach are man-made, but if you’re craving the ocean and want a family-friendly holiday to keep everybody happy, with warm waters guaranteed, you’ll welcome the picture-perfect beach and water park happily.
Just 4km from the southern entrance of the Pilanesberg National Park, you can add on accommodation in the bush easily, or simply base yourself at the Sun City Resort and opt for the add-on bush activities.
The minute you cross over the Bridge of Time, which “erupts” on the hour in a display of vibrations, rumbles and smoke, you enter a fantasy kingdom crafted out of the human imagination. From the Valley of the Waves water park to the entertainment centre and casinos, there is an experience in this mega-complex of entertainment to keep all ages entertained.
What to do in Sun City
Bush meets beach at Sun City, so activities range from safari adventures in the nearby Pilanesberg National Park to cocktails on the “beach” at the resort. Here are a few activities that made our list:
Where to stay in Sun City
Where to eat in Sun City