Visit Gauteng and experience the real wilderness feel of the Province.
Gauteng which means "place of gold", is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. Situated in the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, accounting for only 1.5% of the land area. Nevertheless, it is highly urbanised, containing the country's largest city, Johannesburg, its administrative capital, Pretoria, and other large industrial areas such as Midrand and Vanderbijlpark.
Just south of Johannesburg is Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, which reader Marion Hüfner pointed out could have featured in my December 2011 column, ‘Wild hikes with wildlife.’ The 680-hectare reserve is very well stocked – it boasts 150 species of birds and around 650 indigenous plants and trees – and has a fascinating history. Entrance is free and there is a network of trails and guided walks through the open veld and koppies.
This fairly strenuous, nine-kilometre day trail involves a steep ascent to the top of the Magaliesberg reserve, but the indigenous bush, waterfall and beautiful view of the Hartbeespoort Dam will reward your efforts. There are no amenities other than toilets at the parking area, so this is a good wilderness option for fit hikers. Jacana..
Its proximity to Joburg (about 39 kilometres) and Pretoria (35 kilometres) as well as the picturesque setting and abundant game make this one of the most popular hiking destinations in Gauteng. The 11,3-kilometre trail has a lot to offer, with highlights including a suspension bridge, an old mine, ruins and a cableway to get you across the river. And when the hiking’s done, there’s a swimming pool, braai facilities and the option of hiring tubes to float down the river and rid yourself of the trail dust, all of which adds up to a perfect family outing.
There are several trail options that take advantage of the magnificent Magaliesberg setting. The longest (eight kilometres) and most strenuous hike, which makes a great day outing, initially climbs steeply then contours around to a gorge where you can swim in rock pools. The farm also has braai and camping facilities and a large swimming pool in which you can cool off after a hike.