Sun City doesn’t only have the Valley of the Waves – who knew?

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The Segaetsho Cultural Village offers an interactive educational tour, detailing the rich history of the Tswana people.PHOTO: ntsetse shabangu
The Segaetsho Cultural Village offers an interactive educational tour, detailing the rich history of the Tswana people.PHOTO: ntsetse shabangu

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For me, Sun City has always and only been about the Valley of the Waves. Whenever I thought of the resort, my mind would always wonder what the big deal was. There was only one thing to do.

So, when they invited our publication for their exclusive winter experience, I was intrigued to see what they might have in store and how they would pique my interest, especially during these cold winter months.

We left Johannesburg on a chilly Sunday morning, not knowing what to expect, but excited nonetheless. After a relaxing two-and-a-half-hour drive, we pulled up to the Sun City gates and were welcomed with open arms.

Sun City
The scenic Mankwe Gametrackers route. Photo: Ntsetse Shabangu

We were escorted to the Cascades hotel and, upon entry, were greeted by a whimsical view as we were thrust into a different world, filled with nature – a good break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

It’s safe to say that, even if we were confined to our hotel room for the duration of our stay, it would still be a pleasant experience. Those are views you just can’t get in the city.

After relaxing for a few hours, our trip officially began with some drinks at The King’s Tower, which showcased Sun City’s true beauty, as nature completely engulfed the resort.

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We finally began to understand how expansive Sun City was, and were excited for what might come next. After an evening with good people, tasty drinks and the most tender steak I have ever tasted, at the Plume restaurant, we retired to our hotel rooms.

The next day was even more exciting. We started with a buffet breakfast at the Peninsula restaurant and then set off for all our activities for the day.

First on our itinerary was a Segway tour, with our tour guide, Reilly. Although I had never been on a Segway, I quickly got the hang of it and, before I knew it, was speeding through the scenic routes.

Sun City
If you're looking for a quaint and peaceful getaway, Sun City is the perfect place to be, even during the cold winter months. Photo: Ntsetse Shabangu

If I thought Sun City was big before, this hour-long tour showed me that was only the tip of the iceberg.

We then went on a quad bike tour at Mankwe Wildlife Reserve, and got up close and personal with the animals that roamed in their natural habitat.

After a deeply informative and educational tour at the Segaetsho Cultural Village, learning more about the rich and unknown history of the Tswana people, we were treated to drinks and a quick lunch at The Brew Monkey restaurant.

Finally, we were back at Sun City. The restaurant we were ensconced in overlooked the popular tourist stop, Valley of the Waves.

Our night ended with a dinner at The Shebeen, a beautifully curated restaurant, nestled deep in the resort, with braai-style cultural foods that reminded me of my mother’s cooking, but, dare I say, even better?

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But perhaps the highlight of the trip came the next day with a full body massage at the exclusive Gary Player Health Spa, with friendly and respectful staff, who gave us a full outer body experience with massages that managed to get all my knots out.

Sadly, after that, our trip came to an end. I’m sure you can tell, I really didn’t want to leave.

Outside of our whimsical time at the resort, I was more intrigued at how Sun City had been able to maintain their resort through the pandemic, so I had a word with Brett Hoppé, the general manager of Sun City Resort since January 2020.

When our conversation began, we laughed about how he had begun his post, right when the pandemic decided to shake our lives up. Hoppé said:

I mean, I got back here in December of 2019, not knowing that we were in for some heavy stuff in 2020.

“I was so excited to re-embark on this journey – it’s my third time coming back to Sun City, and it’s a place close to my heart, particularly the people.

“March came around and then, boom, we closed for 157 days, which was bizarre for a resort that’s been operating for 40 years, open 24/7, 365. I think, in a perverse way, it wasn’t bad for Sun City.

We were able to kind of speed up certain things that would’ve taken longer without those restrictions, but it was quiet, with only a few essential personal allowed in the resort at that time, and when we opened again and started picking up business, the second heavy lockdown shut us down again,” he said.

Hoppé is no stranger to Sun City, having previously served as the Sun City Hotel general manager and as acting director of operations at the North West resort until 2012.

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He left Sun City to take over the position of complex general manager of the Boardwalk and Fish River Sun in the Eastern Cape. Through the years, he has been able to see a resurgence in the tourism market, which meant that Sun City had to up their game as well.

I was delighted to find out that, through the pandemic, the resort has been renovating and revamping, making it an even better and more exhilarating experience for all its tourists.

Hoppé said:

We are really going from strength to strength, I’m excited. We are refurbishing The Palace, which will be done in November this year.

“We are adding a high-end spa and gym to The Palace as well. We have really been finding ways to expand our model, so we are working on our popular Vacation Club three, which is a brilliant time-share initiative, making the resort way more accessible to people.”

Overall, Sun City definitely meets all the hallmarks for a great holiday for the adventurous couple or the classic outdoor family, and even for the elegant and sophisticated people who want to wine and dine nestled in nature. One thing is for certain, I will definitely be returning.


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Janice Phiri  

Culture Writer

+27 11 713 9001
Janice.Phiri@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park


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