Aerial Cableway / Harties Cableway (Hartbeespoort)
Overview of Aerial Cableway ("Kabel karretjies")
The Harties Cableway, or known in Afrikaans as "Kabel Karretjies" offers visitors splendid views of the magnificent Magaliesberg, the Hartbeespoort dam and surrounding areas. Visitors will also find various recreational and educational facilities at the Harties Aerial Cableway. From the base station to the top, visitors will be amazed at the beauty that surrounds them.
The Harties Aerial Cableway is the longest mono-cableway in Africa. The top of the cableway is popular not only with tourist and sight-seers, but also hikers, para gliders and nature lovers. The cable cars are fitted with the latest equipment and technology, which makes the Harties Cableway a safe and enjoyable adventure for the whole family.
The Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway was originally constructed in 1973, and extends to the top of the Magaliesberg. In 2010 the cableway was completely revanped and modernised, and officially re-opened on 14 August 2010 by Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk.
What is a Cable Car?
A cable car is any type of transportation that relies on cables to pull the vehicles along or lower them at a steady rate.
Dining at the top
At the top of the Harties Cableway, visitors will soon find that their trip to the top of the mountain quickly turns into a day of fun. Visitors can enjoy a pre-packed picnic basket in the luscious grass, or purchase lunch or snacks and drinks at the Bugatti's restaurant. (Please note, visitors are not allowed to bring their own food or drinks)
A self-service express restaurant offers visitors a place to buy a snack or light meal, which they can enjoy on the terrace or one of the viewing decks. A bar offering alcoholic beverages completes the top-side dining picture.
What to do at the top
Apart from having a meal, visitors to the Harties Cableway can also explore the mountain. The 1km Dassie Loop walkway takes visitors around the top of the mountain, and offers picturesque views of the areas surrounding the mountain. On a clear day, one can almost see as far as the Dome in Johannesburg, Brits, and Pretoria. Informative signs along the walkway further explains points of interest.
Two shops can be found at the Harties Cableway. Both the base station curio shop and the Little Shop at the Top offers a variety of interesting wares, such as gifts, toys, souvenirs, decor items, and arts and crafts.
For the adrenalin junkies, the Harties Cableway features the Adventure Centre, where a variety of adventurous activities can be booked, such as a paragliding, abseiling and more.
Review of the Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway
We were lucky enough to visit the Harties Cableway on a sunny day, but unfortunately, so seemed the rest of the visitors! The lead to a dauntingly long queue, however, don't be disheartened, the queue moves very quickly, especially if you have bought your ticket online beforehand.
Soon, we boarded our cable car, and away we were. The trip up the mountain is long enough to allow you to appreciate the surroundings. The trip was also surprisingly smooth, although at one point it does look like you are going to crash right into the mountain! But not to be alarmed, as the cable car quietly whips its way over the impending doom, and delivers you safely to the top.
With clear signboards marking the various areas of interest, we were soon traversing the Dassie Loop, an easy hike that looks to be wheelchair accessible. We saw hints of Johannesburg in the distance, and marveled at the beauty of North West.
The only downside unfortunately was lunch at Bugatti's restaurant. The waitron was completely incompetent, with our food arriving late and thus cold. I enjoy a good cup of coffee, but the coffee served by Bugatti's was bad enough to almost make me want to demand my money back. But alas, I am a gentle soul, and I only mentioned this to the manager without causing too much of an upset.
To conclude thus... Albeit that the trip may seem a bit on the expensive side, it is definitely worth the money. A short-ish drive from Pretoria, we had an enjoyable and relaxing day on the mountain. I won't be visiting it again soon, however, though maybe with another group of people someday. For me, the Harties Cableway is one of those once in a lifetime type of attractions, but a definite must-do.