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Majestic Mountains and Shimmering Waters

Hidden gem

Hartbeespoort in South Africa is a hidden gem to many tourists and even local travelers.


Let me tell you about Kosmos, a charming little town just outside of Hartbeespoort. With its breathtaking views of the dam and the Magaliesberg mountains, Kosmos is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy nature. Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely boat ride on the dam, explore the surrounding hills on foot or just relax at one of the many cozy cafes, Kosmos has something for everyone. 

A little bit of Paris and Italy

During our visit to Kosmos, we were lucky enough to stay at a B&B with the best ever views.  Now changed to a lovely self-catering apartment, I would definitely recommend Komo on Kosmos, and here is the reason why:  Kosmos is a little village in the North West Province of South Africa.  Situated on the banks of the Hartbeespoortdam, you could be tricked into thinking you are in Italy with a view of Lake Como.  (OK not quite, but surely close enough.)  Here you will find a bit of Paris and Italy all in one, within the beautiful country of South Africa. 

So come on down, soak up the sun, and experience the magic of Kosmos for yourself!  

where to sta in Kosmos Hartbeespoort dam North West Province South Africa travel and home
breathtaking beauty of a sunrise in Kosmos North West Province South Africa travel and home collage

Experience the breathtaking beauty of a sunrise in Kosmos. As the sun rises over the majestic mountains and shimmering waters of the Hartbeespoort Dam, the sky is painted with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and gold, creating a truly unforgettable sight. Immerse yourself in the peaceful serenity of this stunning location and start your day off on the perfect note.

Travel Tips for Hartbeespoort

Let’s look at a few great things to do when you’re in Hartbeespoort:

Jasmyn Hartbeespoort Market Fresh Produce

Early morning we woke up to the best ever sunrise, with the birds singing their early morning song in the trees.  After having true authentic South African Rusks for breakfast, we were ready for the road and to do some exploring.   

The first stop on our itinerary was the Jasmyn Farm Products shop.   This is the best place to shop for all your weekend food supplies as they have the most extraordinary products and interesting things to shop for. (See photos and more info below.)

On our way towards the entrance of Jasmyn, on a Saturday morning, we met the most talented and very friendly artist, Janette, in person.  An extraordinary exhibit of absolutely stunning paintings with extraordinary use of color, as she tells a story through her paintings.  (Janette Bester Terblanche can be reached on – See photos of her paintings above.  This is something you just have to buy for yourself or a very special person in your life.  (Might we add that these reviews are not sponsored.)

Chockkrijt Hollandse lekkers Jasmyn market Holland drop travel and home things to do in Hartbeespoort

Jasmyn has various sections dedicated to food, snacks, and sweets from Holland…  “Hollandse lekkernye”.  We bought some “Gemmer brood” and it was delicious.  Drop, Zaanse mustard, stollen, scheepsknopen, coffee milk…and much more…

Just outside is another beautiful shop to visit:  

Beautiful shop at Jasmyn Harties

A fabulous place to browse and just get lost in everything that is beautiful.

Jasmyn Blomme Dekor en Geskenke‘ – is a beautiful shop to get that special gift for someone, a treat for yourself or beautiful décor items for your home.

What to do in Harties

The, take the stairs to a restaurant with a view or to get to the Bookshop.  Again a fabulous place to shop.

Walk on Storybook adventure stairs to the top and get that special book you’ve been searching for.

You can spend a whole morning just at Jasmyn.  But the surrounding area still has a lot to offer the world traveler.

Stairs at Jasmyn Harties

A mix of Dutch and truly South African culture 

As they say in Afrikaans “Ek het my hart verloor.”  Meaning “I lost my heart”, but actually I left a little piece of my heart at Jasmyn which brings me back time and again for a visit.  So in summary, you just have to visit Jasmyn.  Here you will find:

  • A mixture of restaurants with fabulous food.  (Do try the Waffle House.  We had lunch at one place and dessert at the Waffle House.  O la la)
  • A huge Dutch Style windmill will welcome you with beautiful gardens in summer.
  • The huge “Vegetable and more market” (Jasmyn) is definitely worth a visit for food shopping.
  • The most amazing book shop ever.  (This is my favorite.)
  • A crafters’ market on Saturdays and Sundays, and many more…

Things to do in Harties / Hartbeespoort

  • Visit the coffee shops and take in the holiday atmosphere.
  • There are lots of restaurants to check out.
  • Walkways along the banks of the dam and take photos at the dam wall and 56.6 m tunnel.  (It is beautiful.)
  • Go to Hartbeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park.
  • A trip to the Aquarium.
  • Go see the yacht club.
  • Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary.
  • Elephant Sanctuary.
  • Shopping at Chameleon Village is an experience in itself.  (Africa shop experience.)
  • You can do a horse trail safari. There are lovely trails from 60 minutes to lasting half a day.
  • Take a tour at Van Gaalens Cheese Farm and learn how they make cheese the Dutch way, and have something to eat on the terrace.  (You don’t have to book for lunch.)
  • Sandy Lane Golf Club is 5 minutes from Komo on Kosmos, and it has a superb family-orientated restaurant. In addition, golfers have Magalies Park Golf Club, Brits Golf club, and Seasons Golf Club in close proximity. 
  • Experience lions other carnivores like cheetahs, hyenas, and wild dogs, up close at the Lion & Safari Park.
  • Go on a memorable Hot Air Balloon ride.
  • Book lunch at Glen Afric and feed the elephants (only on a Sunday) while you are there.  This is an amazing experience.  You can literally count their eyelashes; that’s how close you get.
  • A visit to the Upside Down House is a great idea, especially if you have small kids.  There is more than enough space for them to run around and have fun.
  • Visit the Pretville movie set – Although on both occasions we could not get in, make sure you have the time right.
  • The Harties Aerial Cableway is the longest in Africa with beautiful views.

Read our review on the Upside Down House

...and more of them across the world.

A visit to Paris in South Africa

A visit to “French Toast” will have you thinking you are in Paris.  With the Eiffel Tower, the “I love you wall” and even the “lock bridge”, you can fool your friends.  Take photos at these Paris photo spots and send them to your friends.  Undoubtedly they will think you were really in Paris…

This lovely Coffee Café was specially built for the movie “French Toast”, filmed in South Africa and in Paris.  In the movie, the Coffee Café was called ‘Café Alexandre’.

This pitstop is also known to locals as “Klein Parys” (in Afrikaans) / Little Paris.

Above Photos:French Toast / Cafe Alexandre

Evenings at South Africa’s own Italian “Lake Como”

A piece of Italy awaits you at night when you stay in the village of Kosmos.

Hartbeespoort, also known as Harties, is a town on the slopes of the Magaliesberg.  Here you will find the village Kosmos.  Situated on the slopes of the mountain with beautiful views.  Kosmos is not a holiday resort.  It is a mix of permanent residential homes and holiday accommodation.

In my opinion, the views from Kosmos, with the sailboats playing around on the Hartbeespoort Dam, are reminiscent of sipping away a cocktail, or two, on a terrace overlooking the real Lake Como in Italy.  And in many ways it also had me thinking of Positano in Italy.

It’s a peaceful little place, but also a fabulous place to stay while on holiday.  The location is near many of the “Things to do” -activities and there is also that “certain something” about this place, that is so peaceful that you will want to come back again and again.

A unique Sunday Experience

Did you know they also have an open-air Christian Church.  Everyone is welcome.  On Sundays, you can attend a very special church service under, and amongst huge trees on the side of the mountain (no walls).  A truly unique experience.

Jakaranda in Kosmos Johannesburg
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kosmos boom
Ready to experience Paris and Italy in S.A.? 

A place to eat

If you’re looking for a nice place to have breakfast or lunch, Kosmos Café is an excellent option.  Situated right on the waters’ edge, you’ll love the service and food.  Enjoy a relaxing meal or a fun gathering with friends and family.  Especially if you’re staying in Kosmos, you should at least have dinner here one evening at sunset.

How To Get There / Nearest Airport

The nearest airport to Kosmos (Cosmos) or Hartbeespoort is Lanseria International Airport (HLA).  It is a smaller sized airport but is closely situated (only about 30 min away).

Car Rental

The Car Rental companies are easily accessible at the airport.  (You can do your booking online.)



We do however recommend taking extra insurance on a rental for wheel and tire damage.  (Especially during winter time the roads often have a few scary potholes.)   Take your time when driving around, and be on the lookout for them.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Hartbeespoort would be in Spring and Summer.  Anytime from September to March actually would have nice weather.  You might have the occasional thunderstorm in the afternoon, but the smell of flowers in the air at Kosmos during October is wonderful. In springtime, you’ll have beautiful Jacaranda trees everywhere in full flower and during summer the bougainvillea everywhere is in full bloom.  Get your little piece of Paris and Italy in South Africa.

You might want to read about the Drakensberg of South Africa.

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