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The City of Gold has a lot to offer visitors, including fabulous experiences just a short drive from the metropolis. Discover the fourth oldest mountain range in the world (an estimated 2.4 billion years old), head underground where fossils of our ancestors have changed the course of history, or simply soak up art in unexpected places.

Cradle of Humankind
A World Heritage Site stretching over 180 square miles, the Cradle of Humankind is dotted with limestone caves in which some of the oldest hominin fossils ever found – dating back as far as 3.5 million years ago – have been discovered over the last 100 years. The Sterkfontein Caves are the best-known, but the Wonder Cave is another notable experience. Descend into this single-chamber cave via steep steps and a lift shaft, before emerging into a cavernous space boasting magnificent stalagmites and stalactites. This experience lies a 90-minute drive away from the Saxon.

Nirox Sculpture Park
Enjoy a cultured and peaceful day trip where art and nature meet in perfect harmony at the Nirox Sculpture Park, a 45-minute drive from the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa in Johannesburg. Part of the larger Nirox Foundation, the park hosts public sculpture exhibitions and music concerts, while private appointments can also be booked to explore the permanent artworks that lie within the reserve.

Horse-Riding in the Magaliesberg Mountains
A hundred times older than Everest and the fourth oldest range in the world, these beautiful mountains lies North West of Johannesburg. A 90-minute drive from the Saxon transports you to an area rich in breathtaking views and unique biodiversity. A scenic horse ride is one of the best ways to explore some of the trails and marvel at the prehistoric landscapes.

Wonderboom Nature Reserve
This nature reserve is just a 90-minute drive from the Saxon and is home to the well-known Wonderboom. The ‘wonder tree’ (in Afrikaans) is a dense grove of evergreen fig trees, originating from a trunk believed to be 1,000 years old. Over time the branches of this original tree have grown longer and lower, ultimately rooting themselves around the ancient trunk. Three layers of ‘daughter’ trees now encircle the parent fig tree, creating a natural spectacle covering a 50-metre area, which is now laced with walkways for visitors to explore.

Hot Air Ballooning
For the ultimate serene adventure, head out for a day of hot air ballooning. Float over the picturesque countryside of the Cradle of Humankind and Magaliesberg, or go slightly further afield to Pilanesberg National Park, which is set in an extinct volcanic crater. The sights of the South African countryside are truly spectacular seen from above, as you glide peacefully over the world. A range of hot air ballooning experiences can be arranged within a 2 or 3-hour drive from the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa Johannesburg.

If one of these experiences has captured your imagination, The Saxon can organise day trips and tours throughout your stay with us. Our luxurious sister property in the Limpopo Province, Shambala Private Game Reserve, is also an excellent way to experience the best of South African wildlife and scenery. Enquire today:

Tel: +27 (0)11 292 6000