Hennops Hiking Trail
A 45-minute drive north of Joburg, but more than worth the journey. Choose from three circular hiking routes – a short 2km walk, the 6km Zebra Route or the more challenging 11.3km Krokodilberg Route (4-5 hours for experienced hikers). All trails begin by crossing the Hennops River either by a suspension bridge or via a fun old-fashioned 'cable car' which works by a pulley system. The trails then meander through the surrounding hills with good views of the nearby Magaliesberg mountains.
Post hike lunch: At the start of the trail is a picnic spot with braai facilities.
Entrance off the R511 (10km south of the R105 junction).
This extensive nature reserve covers more than 600 hectares and is a popular city escape in south Joburg. Blesbok, zebra and other game roam the hillsides of the ‘rock river mountain’ and there are various signposted hiking ranging from 3km – 9km. The circular 8km Dassie Trail starts at the Silent Pools entrance and winds its way to the top of the hill, or take the slightly shorter and flatter Bloubos trail that follows the river. Neighbourhing the reserve is Thaba Trails (101 Klip River Dr, Mulbarton), a dedicated mountain biking area that opens on weekends with a 6km, 15km or 30km biking trail to choose from.
Post hike lunch: After your walk drive to the Thaba Eco Hotel on the other side of the reserve for refreshments.
Entrance at Silent Pools, Frandaph Dr, Mondeor
A nature reserve and heritage site, the Melville Koppies boast archaeological remains of Stone Age and Iron Age settlements, and great views over the downtown skyline. The best way to visit is on one of the Sunday morning three-hour guided hikes, which alternate between a 4km guided walk and a more challenging 10km hike, which both take in the area’s unique fauna and geology.
Post hike lunch: End the hike with a late breakfast and coffee at the Service Station cafe in Melville’s Bamboo Centre overlooking the koppies.
Cnr Judith Rd and Orange Rd, Melville.
This peaceful, privately managed 275-hectare reserve is crisscrossed by relatively flat hiking and cycling trails that a very well-maintained and signposted. There are four specially designed mountain biking routes ranging from 10km to 40km, and an 8km hiking trail complemented by shorter walks that skirt around the reserve’s wetland areas.
Post hike lunch: Close to the entrance to the reserve is 33 High Street, a charming family-friendly restaurant that serves great pizzas and shares space with the craft brewery and coffee roastery Oakes Brew House.
Arden Rd (off Ardeer Rd), Modderfontein.
Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens
One of Joburg’s most beautiful and well-maintained parks, head here for a wide variety of unusual flora, excellent birdwatching (look out for the black Verreaux’s eagles), a waterfall and other natural delights. There are various easy walking routes which their way through the gardens, the longest of which is a 3.5km nature trail which takes you up to the top of the Witpoortjie waterfall.
Post hike lunch: End the day with refreshments at the park’s pleasant cafe or pack your own picnic.
Malcolm Rd, Roodepoort.
Hennops Hiking Trail
Entrance to trail off the R511 (10km south of the R105 junction)
This extensive nature reserve with a river running through it feels a million miles away from the hustle of the city. Herds of impala and other antelope roam …
A nature reserve and heritage site, the Melville Koppies (koppie means small hill in Afrikaans) boast archaeological remains of Stone Age and Iron Age …
One of Gauteng’s most beautiful and well-maintained parks, head here for stunning flora and fauna, excellent birdwatching (look out for the black Verreaux’s …