West lies in the north of South Africa on the Botswana border,
fringed by the Kalahari desert in the west, Gauteng province to
the east, and the Free State to the south.
It is known as the Platinum Province for the wealth of the metal
The landscape is largely flat regions of scattered trees and
grassland. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast
extends about 130 kilometres from Pretoria to Rustenburg,
while the Vaal River forms the province's southern border.
Mafikeng (previously Mafeking) is the capital, and best known
the famous siege during the Anglo-Boer War, which ended in a
decisive victory for the British and made a hero of Robert
North West has a number of major tourist attractions, including
the internationally famous Sun City, the Pilanesberg National
Park, the Madikwe Game Reserve and the Rustenburg Nature
Two-thirds of the people speak Setswana, the language of
neighbouring Botswana, with the rest speaking Afrikaans and
isiXhosa. Only 35% of the population is urbanised.
A summer-rainfall region, temperatures range from up to 31° C in
summer to as little as 3° in winter.