10 fun things to do at Sun City (mostly) with your clothes on
The resort's many pools are a huge crowd puller in summertime, but there's plenty of adventure to be had where you stay fully clothed and dry too
1) GAME ON
Based at Sun City, Mankwe Gametrackers Outdoor Adventure Centre offers a range of activities at the resort and its neighbouring game reserves, including hot-air balloon safaris which take off from inside Pilanesberg National Park. One-hour flights cost R6,000 per person (the experience is about five hours).
Guided quad biking, for groups of up to 15 people, takes place in Letsatsing Game Park, which borders Pilanesberg, with the chance of seeing zebra, giraffe and other wildlife en route. The one-hour trail is R840 per adult, R630 per child (8-16 years).
They also offer game drives, bush walks, mountain biking, archery, Amazing Race-style adventures, and more.
• Father's Day special: R190 off their “archery and quad biking” combo, bringing the price to R800. Valid for June. See mankwegametrackers.co.za
2) ROLL WITH IT
Segway Guided Tours offers a novel way to explore the resort on a two-wheeled “self-balancing transport device”. Guides will make sure you're relaxed and comfortable with your steed before you set off on your choice of route, either around the lake or, for the more daring, off-road on a multi-terrain tour.
• Priced from R350 to R500. See segwayguidedtours.co.za
3) GET LOST (AND FOUND)
A 100m-long suspension bridge leads to the entrance of The Maze of the Lost City, built from artificial stone and wood to evoke a Mayan-ruin feel. Reportedly the largest permanent maze in the southern hemisphere, it covers an area of 2,200m2. With walls too high to see over and multiple dead ends, you’ll need all your wits about you to make it to the end, where you can reward yourself with ice-cold craft beers on tap at the Maze Bar. Panic prone? Take heart: there are emergency exits for those who just can't take the pressure.
• Adults R180, R90 for children under 12. See lostcitymaze.co.za
4) GET CULTURAL
Learn more about the history and heritage of the people of the North West at Segaetsho Cultural Village. Segaetsho, which means “Our Heritage” in Setswana, offers guests the chance to explore Batswana culture through music, art, dance, fashion, photography and food.
• Adults R200, R150 for children aged 3-12, under 3s free.
5) TEE OFF
Sun City is home to two championship-level courses, the walking-only Gary Player Golf Course and the cart-mandatory Lost City Golf Course, both 18-hole par-72 courses designed by SA golfing legend Gary Player. The latter is considered one of the best in Africa and, as home to the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge, has played host to many of the world's golfing greats. The Lost City course is quite different, with an arid desert feel, and is notable for its 13th hole, which has live crocodiles and a green in the shape of the African continent. There's also a practice putting green and a driving range.
• 18 holes on both courses with lunch (and cart hire on the Lost City) is R830 for hotel guests, R980 for day visitors. Find more details here.
6) ESCAPE REALITY
Previously based at the Valley of Waves, the Vortex Virtual Lounge has moved to Sun Central where it offers a host of gaming experiences. Players can instantly escape the real world and embark on a wild, virtual-reality adventure simply by donning a headset. Options include motorbike rides, roller coasters and military-style games with running and shooting — and, yes, there are zombies too.
• R50 — R100 per game. See suninternational.com
7) TAKE SOME “ME TIME”
At the Gary Player Country Club, the Gary Player Health Spa and Beauty Salon has a long menu of treats, including blow waves, manis, pedis and myriad massages. The salon offers a selection of beauty treatments and products, and there is a fully-equipped gym, a relaxing spa pool and a steam room, as well as locker facilities.
• Cabanas, Sun City and Cascades hotel residents can access the gym for R50 per day or R120 for a three-day package. Free for residents of The Palace. Massage and body treatments priced from R500-R1,200.
8) MAKE YOUR ESCAPE
Breakout offers escape-room adventures where a group of participants gets “locked” in a room and must tackle a series of tasks, puzzles and riddles to “escape” within 60 minutes. They are three indoor storylines to choose from: you wake up kidnapped and locked in a room and must work out how to make it out before the kidnapper gets back; on a hijacked plane that's losing altitude; or as part of a trainee anti-rhino-poaching unit tasked with uncovering the identity of a notorious poaching gang's mastermind. They recently added two outdoor adventures.
• R335 per adult; R235 for children under 11. For more info, see breakoutgames.com
9) ZIP ACROSS THE SKY
Zip2000 is an “extreme zipslide” that’s been operating out of Sun City since 2004 and for six years held the title of “world’s longest, highest and fastest zip slide”. Today, it stretches over 2km and is still one of the world’s fastest, longest and highest zip slides, where participants “fly” at a height of 280m at an average speed of 120km/h — with potential maximum speeds of R160km/h. Riders are attached to the line by two harnesses so there is no jerking or feeling of free fall (as with bungee jumping). Solo and tandem slides are available. No children under 12.
• R680 per person, R100 for spectators. See zip2000.com
10) FOR ADULTS ONLY
Over-18s can try their luck in the casino at the tables or slot machines, then head to Vibes, a free-entrance sports bar with pool tables and big-screen TVs. From here, windows give you a front-row seat to the action on the dance floor at the snazzy underground Encore nightclub. Recently reopened with the relaxation of Covid rules, Encore features a live DJ who'll keep the crowd dancing on Fridays and Saturdays until the 4am closing time.
• Encore cover charge is R200 per person.
• The Valley of Waves is closed for annual maintenance until June 23 2022.