There is a childlike excitement about cable car rides that is hard to beat. Perhaps it is because it is akin to flying, as you soar through the air at altitudes where you can still see the ground below you. We enjoy riding on cable cars, whenever they’re available, even on our international trips. The Harties Cableway had been on our local bucket list for a long while and we finally got the opportunity to ride it on our recent trip to the Hartbeespoort area.
One of the most popular things to do in the area, the Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway is the longest mono cableway in South Africa. It will take you to the top of the ancient Magaliesberg mountains, a World Biosphere Reserve, from where you can enjoy views of the Hartbeespoort Dam, Magaliesberg and the surrounding area.
The Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway was first constructed in 1975. Over the next few decades, thousands of visitors from around the world were treated to cable car rides with panoramic views. Eventually the cableway fell into disrepair and it was closed in 2005. It was re-opened in 2012 after a huge revamp using modern technology and materials. The cableway now consists of 14 high-tech Swiss cable cars, offering 360-degree views while travelling along a 1.2 km cableway, and carrying a maximum of six passengers each.
On arrival at the cableway complex, our temperatures were checked, hands sanitized and details logged for contact tracing purposes. Tickets in hand, we proceeded to the cable car station. There was no need to wait as the cable cars run constantly. Only groups of visitors travelling together are allowed in the same cable car and limited to 4 people, on account of Covid-19. The cable cars are sanitized after each trip and deep cleaned once a day.
Once seated in our comfortable private cable car, we proceeded up the rugged mountain side over low bushes and sheer cliffs, enjoying the views en route, which became progressively more magnificent as we ascended. At the top, we jumped off at the base station and set off to explore our surroundings.
The experience doesn’t end when your ride stops. At the summit, you will feel like you are in another world in the sky, far from the pressures of daily life. A walk along the Dassie Loop paved walkway will take you around the mountain top where information boards indicate points of interest. The views are spectacular and on a clear day, you can see the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg and parts of Pretoria.
There are restaurants, cafes and picnic benches where you can indulge in a light meal or drink. It was a scorching hot day when we visited, and we enjoyed home-made gourmet ice-cream and chilled drinks on the lookout deck. If you have young kids with you, they can have some fun in the Kids Playzone.
We savoured our time at the top until the last cable cars were due to leave. On the way down, we watched a giraffe strolling around the residential complex adjoining the cableway complex, a lovely end to our time there.
The Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway is a world-class experience that served as a great reminder that even though we can’t travel internationally yet, there are so many wonderful things to experience in our country. It is a must-do in Hartbeespoort and one of the most beautiful cable car experiences in South Africa. Although it makes a great day outing from Johannesburg and Pretoria, you can even stay over in Hartbeespoort to explore more of the area, as we did.
For more information and to view their current specials, visit the The Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway.
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