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This vast casino and entertainment complex sits in a valley of the Pilansberg hills, less than two hours’ drive from Johannesburg. A dizzy array of options including; gambling, golfing, game viewing, watersports, shopping, a water park, or simply sun bathing beside the many exotic pools all make this mini ‘city’ popular with locals and tourists alike.
Sun city comprises of a linear complex of hotels and casinos, fronted by several golf courses and a man-made lake. The centrepiece is the Palace of the Lost City, arguably the most ornately detailed and exquisite themed hotel in the world. The African-themed exterior, comprising of turrets, sculptured animals and a jaw dropping garden with lakes, ponds, artificial waterfalls and lush vegetation leave visitors astounded.
Two other hotels, the Sun City Hotel and the Cabanas are more down to earth and affordable, but equally as exotic with huge tropical swimming pools and gardens, and a number of restaurants and cocktail bars to suit various budgets.
The entertainment complex sits between the Palace and Sun City hotel and has several casinos and one arm bandits. If you’re lucky you can catch an international artist performing in the 15,000 seat auditorium, alternatively there are bingo halls, endless games for kids, plenty of shops and food for all tastes.
The best fun is had at the Valley of the Waves waterpark, which sits below the Palace of the Lost City. It features many water slides, a man-made beach with perfect sand and manufactured waves, and a ‘lazy’ river loop, all providing fun for the whole family.
Sun City has two world-class golf courses, which meander around lakes and ponds and host the Million dollar challenge every December. A number of watersports, such as windsurfing, waterskiing and parasailing are available on the man-made lake. There is also a game reserve nearby and sunset game drives reveal an impressive array of animals such as lion, zebra, buffalo and giraffe, among others.
By night Sun City comes alive, whether you prefer idly emptying your pocket into a one arm bandit, trying your luck at Roulette, dancing, eating, watching a movie or enjoying a cocktail under the stars.
The closest international airport is in Johannesburg, with well-organised shuttle services (2 hour ride) to Sun City. A short air shuttle is also available, but many prefer to hire their own car so that they can enjoy the scenic drive out.