Much of the province consists of savanna flat areas of scattered trees and grassland. Two large game reserves are found in the North West Province namely Madikwe and Pilanesberg. The Pilanesberg is the largest and is located in the crater of an extinct volcano. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast and the Vaal River flows along the southern border of the province. Temperatures range from 17° to 31° C (62° to 88° F) in the summer and from 3° to 21° C (37° to 70° F) in the winter. Annual rainfall totals about 360 mm (about 14 in), with almost all of it falling during the summer months, between October and April.
A large portion of the population in the North West Provinceare Tswana people who speak Setswana and live inrural areas. Smaller groups include Afrikaans, Sotho, and Xhosa speaking people. English is spoken primarily as a second language.
Mafikeng, formerly Mafeking, serves as the provincial capital. Other significant towns include Brits, Klerksdorp, Lichtenburg, Potchefstroom, Rustenburg and Sun City.
The province has two universities: the University of North West and Potchefstroom University. Important historical sites in the province include Mafikeng, the traditional capital of the Barolong people, where a British garrison was placed under siege by Afrikaners during the Boer War (1899-1902).
The mainstay of the economy of North West Province is mining. The northern and western parts of the province have many farms andgame ranches. The eastern and southern parts are crop-growing regions. The entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and Lost City also contributes to the provincial economy.