Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
It’s rare that one can visit a major metropolis, then take a short bus ride to the outskirts of the city and be in a place where up close encounters with wild animals is possible. Pretoria in the Gauteng Province is privileged to be laid out in such a fashion; the Groenkloof Nature Reserve south of the city was set aside as a nature reserve way back in 1895 specifically to preserve a species of buck. Today it’s a popular recreational venue for Pretoria residents who use it for all manner of outdoor activity.
In 1841, Lucas Bronkhorst settled here and named his farm Groenkloof. The spot was well chosen, as the Apies River ran through his land and the fertile soil ideal for farming. The farm was later used as a tree plantation before being taken over by the municipal authorities in 1994 who removed the alien vegetation and, over a 14 year period, stocked the reserve with animals that once naturally roamed the area. Zebra, ostrich, kudu, wildebeest, sable and giraffe were released into the reserve and now share the space with smaller mammals and plentiful birdlife.
Groenkloof has a number of hiking, running and mountain bike trails that crisscross the reserve and typically one would pass several animals, most of which have become accustomed to humans travelling through the reserve, specifically zebra and ostrich who are naturally curious.
Over 100 species of bird have been recorded in the reserve and those to look out for are the two eagle types (black and brown snake) and the colourful waxbills.
Picnickers can enjoy some downtime along the banks of the Apies River, while 4x4 enthusiasts take on the challenging 14km route laid out in the reserve
Guided horseback rides are available through park management and visiting school groups are fortunate enough to be given tractor rides through the reserve.
A small entrance fee is payable at the reserve gate and for the amount of entertainment on offer, it’s an absolute steal!