Country/territory: South Africa

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i, A4ii (1998)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 367,108 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife South Africa
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2012 very high very unfavourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This large area includes the magisterial districts of the former Bophuthatswana, Brits, Rustenburg, Swartruggens, Ventersdorp, Koster and Oberholzer. The Magaliesberg range extends in an arc from just south of Rustenburg in the west to Hartbeespoort Dam near Pretoria in the east. Peaks in the west include Tshufi (1,592 m) and Rustenburgkloof (1,688 m), in the centre Nooitgedacht (1,851 m) and Doornhoek (1,786 m), and in the east Versigtig (1,563 m), Myoko (1,523 m) and Sun Glory (1,601 m) are found in the vicinity of Hartbeespoort Dam.

To the south, the Witwatersberg range runs parallel to the Magaliesberg, extending from the town of Magaliesberg in the west to Hartbeespoort Dam in the east. The Ben-Tor Gloster (1,674 m), Hartebeeshoek (1,585 m) and Skeerpoort (1,544 m) peaks dominate the Witwatersberg. Several large rivers have their headwaters in these mountains, including the Crocodile, Sterkstroom, Magalies and Skeerpoort rivers. Three major impoundments lie along the Magaliesberg; the massive Hartbeespoort Dam in the east, Buffelspoort Dam in the centre and Olifantsnek Dam about 7 km south of Rustenburg.

The mountain peaks and slopes are clothed in open broadleaved woodland of Faurea, Acacia, Bequaertiodendron, Burkea, Peltophorum, Kirkia, Combretum, Albizia and Diplorrhynchus, and proteoid shrubland occurs on cool slopes. The surrounding land, especially that to the north of the mountain range, is used primarily for cattle-ranching, with some intensive crop and fruit-farming on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg range.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. Gyps coprotheres breeds at two main colonies—the larger Skeerpoort (25°45’S 27°45’E) and the sister colony at Robert’s Farm (25°50’S 27°17’E)—as well as a satellite colony at Nooitgedacht. There appears to be a decline in the numbers of vultures breeding at Robert’s Farm, and it seems that birds may have transferred to Nooitgedacht, following the introduction of a vulture restaurant there, below an abandoned colony. Many other raptor species have been recorded at Skeerpoort, including Gyps africanus and Torgos tracheliotus. Patches of grassland are known to hold small numbers of Grus paradisea.

Non-bird biodiversity: Hyaena brunnea (LR/nt) is a major large predator in the area.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Magaliesberg. Downloaded from on 29/09/2020.