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Magalies Meander

Moses Kotane - Sun City

Rustenburg Adventure, Tourism and Accommodation

Buffelspoort Tourism and Info Centre

Magaliesberg Maps




“Wild Flowers of the Magaliesberg” by Kevin Gill and Andry Engelbrecht 


“The Magaliesberg” by Vincent Carruthers 

The books are available from the Buffelspoort Valley Tourism and Information Centre

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Magaliesberg Biosphere

"The Magaliesberg encapsulates the magnificence and passion of our complex country."



The Magaliesberg was utilised for nature-based tourism since the early 1900’s. As numbers increased concern was raised about litter, fires and erosion.  In 1965 the Department of Planning and the Environment proposed a nature reserve between Pretoria and Rustenburg.  The farm Rietfontein (now part of Kgaswane Mountain Reserve) was acquired by the Transvaal Province in 1967 as a start. Smaller provincial reserves were proclaimed at Hartbeespoort and Elandskraal.

In the 1970’s conservation awareness was created by the Mountaineering Club of SA and by James Clarke of The Star.   In 1975 the Environmental Planning Act was promulgated, the Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA) was founded and the Magaliesberg was proclaimed a “Nature Area”.

In 1982, after resistance from land owners and various attempts to bring parties together during the period of 1978 to 1981, the Environmental Conservation Act replaced the Environmental Planning Act of 1975 and provided for the formal establishment of a Management Committee.

In 1994 the Magaliesberg was declared a Protected Natural Environment under the Environmental Conservation Act and detailed boundaries were finalized. Responsibility for the protection of the Magaliesberg now fell under two provinces, Gauteng and North West.

In 2003 the Protected Areas Act replaced the Environmental Conservation Act of 1982, under which law the Magaliesberg now became a Protected Environment.

In 2006 a formal proposal was put forward to have Magaliesberg proclaimed a Biosphere under UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program (MAB).  The NW Premier approved this request and in 2007 a Steering Committee was established comprising representatives from Magaliesberg Biosphere Initiative Group (MBIG) and Gauteng and NW Provinces.  A Magaliesberg Environmental Management Framework (MEMF) was subsequently published containing a basis for regulations for the area.

During 2008 to 2009 public awareness was created and a Terms of Reference was drafted for the appointment of a consultant to handle the Biosphere application.  In 2010 Contour Project Managers was appointed as consultants to prepare and manage the Biosphere application process.



A biosphere is an area of terrestrial and coastal/marine ecosystem or combination thereof, which is internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB)

In essence, a Biosphere represents an innovative and sustainable approach to managing land and water resources across landscapes made up of one or more bioregions.  The development of a network of Biospheres, as envisaged by UNESCO, is aimed at ensuring conservation and sustainable development in order to:  

  • Reduce biodiversity loss;

  • Improve livelihoods;

  • Enhance social, economic and cultural conditions for environmental sustainability; and

  • Contribute towards environmental sustainability through the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals.


Biosphere Reserves are established to promote and demonstrate a balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere. This is achieved by combining three functions:

  1. The conservation of landscapes, ecosystems and species;
  2. The promotion of socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable economic and human development; and
  3. Support for environmental education and training, research, demonstration projects, and monitoring related to issues of conservation and sustainable development.

For more in-depth knowledge regarding the Magaliesberg Biosphere such as:

  • Deep time origins
  • Mineral wealth
  • Habitats and ecology
  • Palaeoanthropology and early human occupation
  • Early history
  • Science and exploration
  • Socio-economic development and tourism
  • and lots more!

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