Sun City, the flagship of the prestigious Sun International tourism group, is the largest entertainment center in the southern hemisphere and the South African answer to Las Vegas. The city of plastic, glass and marble is located 200 km northwest of Johannesburg in a valley on the southern edge of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.
It was built on the ground at the time of apartheid in the former Homeland Bophutatswana by Sol Kerzner, a millionaire hotel magnate from Johannesburg. At that time, Calvinist South Africa prohibited gambling and nude revues, so this “alternative” offered. Since that time, Sun City is popularly called “Sin City” (= sin city).
Today, Sun City is the second most important source of income in the Northwest Province, because it is a mix of nature, sports experience and casino world and attracts tens of thousands of tourists and players every year. Sun City also offers sports and leisure facilities of all kinds. Golfers can choose between two of South Africa’s best golf courses, the Gary Player Country Club and the Lost City Golf Course. In the former, the famous million-dollar tournament takes place every year. Sun City has four hotels, the relatively inexpensive Cabanas, as well as the five star hotels Main Hotel, The Cascades and The Palace of Lost City. A suite in the Palace costs about 3000 DM per night.
But you also get an exciting mix of pure luxury and African fantasy with battlements, towers, a 65m long pool, a 25m high entrance hall and mosaic floors. 700 employees read the guest every wish from the eyes. The Palace Hotel is the centerpiece of Lost City, which is a “sunken city” reminiscent of sunken African cultures. Of course, there are also several fine quality restaurants on the premises, e.g. the Peninsula at the Cascades Hotel or the Villa de Palazzo at the Palace Hotel. <
Due to the ban on gambling in South Africa and the proximity to the densely populated Gauteng, the number of visitors was very large right from the start and so two more luxury hotels were built at the beginning of the 80’s. At the beginning, of course, the games of chance, the revues with lightly dressed ladies and the cinemas with their soft pornos were especially sought after.
There was none of this until now in the rest of South Africa! The huge wave pool with a sandy beach, Valley of Waves, can create artificial waves that are big enough for surfing competitions. There are also riding stables, bowling alleys, tennis and squash courts, circular rivers, artificial rainforest with rope bridges, ponds and weirs. Theaters and concert halls, bars and shops complete the impressive image of Sun City. There are huge cascades everywhere.