Magaliesberg Books

Cradle of Life

by Vincent Carruthers

The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site situated in the heart of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve is the jewel in South Africa’s evolutionary crown: an area ‘of outstanding universal value’, it has attracted world-wide interest and furnished key evidence about where, when and how we came to be. The greater Magaliesberg area is peppered with some 200 caves and has a unique geology, history and biodiversity. For decades now, specialists have been combing the area to uncover evidence of our heritage.

In his spectacular new title, Vincent Carruthers guides readers along a timeline, from the birth of our planet through to developments of the twenty first century. Along the way he documents the formation of our landscapes and the emergence of life, the rise of hominins, the stone and iron ages, early settlement, migrations, wars and modern developments in the Magaliesberg – the entire evolution of life up to the present, as we know it.

Vividly illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams, Cradle of Life portrays the intrigue and importance of the site, taking readers on a magical journey of discovery.

Published by Penguin Random House (011) 327 3550

The Magaliesberg

by Vincent Carruthers

This text is a valuable source of information about the Magaliesberg, including the history of man in the area; from archaeological evidence thousands of years ago, to the battles fought between different groups in more recent times. The portrayal of humankind’s history in the Magaliesberg is fascinating, but it does not dominate the book to the detriment of environmental issues.

The extensive descriptions of the fauna and flora of the area inspire the reader to consider the impact that man has on his environment. An entire chapter is devoted to birds and the checklist of birds in the Magaliesberg makes this book essential for all birders. The chapters on trees, mammals, reptiles and amphibians also contain extensive checklists, indicating both the scientific as well as common names.

The Magaliesberg is almost 100 times older than Everest, and the chapter on the geology of the area describes how these mountains started to take shape 2,300 million years ago. Carruthers’ eloquent writing style is easy to read and grabs the reader’s attention from the start. The comprehensive book is based on sound research and is complemented by numerous illustrations and full-color photographs throughout. Carruthers’s love for the area is obvious and he describes the Magaliesberg as a ‘priceless national asset’, which he hopes to preserve with the help of this book. The many full-color and black and white photographs, as well as detailed illustrations are found on every page throughout the book, adding value to the book, making it a publication that appeals to those readers who are academically inclined, as well as those who are amateur environmentalists or historians.

Published by Protea Book House (012) 362 5683


Magaliesberg Kaleidoscope

by Willie Meyer

The Magaliesberg between what is now Pretoria and Rustenburg, and the valleys surrounding it, have been home to man and his ancestors for literally millions of years.
The mountains were already ancient when the first humanoids with their clumsy gait and crude implements scavenged in the valleys for the remains of the prey of the sabre-tooth tiger and the giant hyena. In historic times the rugged rock faces impassively witnessed the arrival of the cattle-herding immigrants from East Africa, the marauding impis from Natal and itinerant farmers from the Cape.
They witnessed the Dificane, the Boer civil war, the first and second Anglo Boer Wars and the construction of man-made structures that changed the nature of man’s pursuits in the valleys and surrounding hills.

This book is about just some of these people and their exploits.
The book is based on a series of Kormorant feature articles by the author and can be ordered at R170, p&p included, by e-mailing


Rustenburg at War

by Lionel Wulfsohn

This book is about Rustenburg’s contribution and participation in the Two Anglo Boer Wars, which took place in the last quarter of the 19th Century. To probe into the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’ that precipitated To such countries which have so much in common into bitter conflict, the author has done a large amount of pre-war research. Simplistically the answer comes out in the Boer description of these wars, which they call the 1st and 2nd Wars of Independence (1ste en 2de Vryheidsoorloë). However, these wars can also be seen as part of the great scramble for Africa, taking place about this time.

The author has taken as a starting point the arrival of the white man In relatively large numbers in the late 1830’s into this area, and through 27 chapters the story of Rustenburg slowly unfolds. In order to portray certain leaders on both sides who contributed such a large part to the conduct of the conflict, the writer has found it necessary to give short histories of their activities in towns and campaigns other than Rustenburg. Here he specifically refers to General de la Rey and Colonel Kekewich.
Available at leading book stores.


Wild Flowers of the Magaliesberg

by Kevin Gill & Andry Engelbrecht

This book is a clear, easy-to-use introduction to over 500 wild flower species of the Magaliesberg, directed mainly at the person becoming aware for the first time of these floral treasures. We use simple language, avoiding botanical terminology. Initially plants are grouped by floral colour into six groups. We have tried to show leaves as clearly as possible, because awareness of their shape and arrangement often assists greatly in identification.

Features of this publication include:
• English, Afrikaans and Setswana common names
• Information regarding early botanical pioneers
• Updated scientific names and derivations
• Ecological and habitat information
• Organisations and contacts
• Places for public access
• All new photographs
• Leaf sketches

Contact to order:


Magalies Meander Visitors Guide

See our on-line 2012/2013 Visitors Guide: Discover the Magaliesburg!