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There is no shortage of trails in Gauteng and many of them have a real wilderness feel, despite being close to the city.

1. Klipriviersberg

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.

There are several other notable trails in the Gauteng area, and in the spirit of plugging into local knowledge, I asked Sue Desmond, hikes organiser for Johannesburg Hiking Club to share her selection of other great trails around Johannesburg.

Keep in mind most hikes in Gauteng are on private property, so there is generally an entrance fee. If you don’t mind shelling out R25 to R35 there’s a whole new world beyond the walls.

2. Uitkyk trail

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.
Tel 0861 522 262,

3. Hennops trails

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.
Tel 082 825 9205,

4. Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

The rolling hills of the Suikerbosrand have an extensive network of hiking trails.

The rolling hills of the Suikerbosrand have an extensive network of hiking trails.

This scenic reserve near Heidelberg, south of Joburg offers a 66-kilometre network of easy day trails as well as a two- or three-day backpacking option. Keep your eyes peeled for plains game as you ramble though the rolling hills and bring braai stuff to end the trail in style.
Tel 011 439 6300,

5. Bergheim Holiday Resort

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.
Tel 014 537 2363,


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  • Thabo

    Morning, on the 30 of this month we going to Suikerbosrand with my friends for a 10km hiking, i just want to know what kind of animals are there?

  • tebogo

    we do hiking aswell for I think and your prices


    when is Suikerbosrand opening since it was closed for some repairs

    • Thabo Sko

      Hi Sylvester. It is operating boss, I was there on the 17th Oct 2015 for overnight hiking.

  • All of these trails are fantastic. I use an app called Trail Guide south Africa to find other trails in the area.

  • Khanyisile


    I am nursing my aching body from a grilling 18km hike at Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve that I did with a friend of mine yesterday…..It was awesome and I would highly suggest it.

  • Sylvester

    Khanyi there is another one called Klipkraal just behined Suikerbos. When you are at Panorama you see the vaaldam in the background. You must try that trail

    • Melusi

      I’ve done the Suikerbosrand trail before and I’ve been looking for another trail not far from the South of JHB. Thanks Sylvester for the tip on doing Klipkraal. I have already made reservations for tomorrow

  • andy hyslop

    for a short family walk or ridge hike try the Little Falls ridge at roodepoort.Being proclaimed as nature reserve.

  • Jason

    Hi All

    My only concern is safety. I recently relocated from Cape Town and I consider myself a avid hiker. However, due to safety concerns, I’m reluctant to go on the trails.

    Any advise?

    • Zwivhuya

      I’ve been there twice and only girls ,it’s very safe the last time I checked klipriviersberg South of Joburg

  • Dean

    If anyone is thinking of doing the Palindaba short hike, by Necsa , just ensure you keep your eyes peeled. My fiancee and I just did a 6km hike, or should I say climb there today , and in sections by the river it is extremely overgrown with vegetation. We eventually had to literally crawl through this and were greeted by a 1.5 meter Mozambican Spitting Cobra, luckily for us , the serpent wasnt in a mood to fight and managed to flee the same way we had to !., eventually when we got out of the overgrowth in a clearing , we saw ahead more long grass and even more overgrowth and it would be way too risky. So the only solution was up, climbing out of the ravine, which is tricky as there is loose slate…..

    • Melanie van Zyl

      Wow! Thanks for the update Dean.