6 ways to feel closer to nature in Joburg

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 11 July 2019

Joburg is the sixth best city in the world when it comes to urban tree canopy coverage, with over 200,000 trees planted in Soweto since 2010 to extend the green belt.

But what if you feel the need for a more concentrated green space close by? Here are a few places you can go to escape city life.

1. Korsman’s Bird Sanctuary, Benoni

This sanctuary maintained and run by residents of the surrounding Korsman Conservancy NGO, the Korsman sanctuary provides a break and some birding fun. Since 2005, there’ve been about 142 bird species spotted within the Benoni conservancy.

 

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2. Harvey Nature Reserve, Linksfield Ridge

This spot is linked to our country’s history. The Harvey Nature Reserve was once a retreat highly favoured by Mahatma Gandhi. Head down to the small reserve and you might begin to imagine how a pacifist may have found some inner peace and strength here.

 

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3. Northcliff Ridge Eco-Park

Northcliff Ridge Eco-Park boasts 11 hectares of ‘undeveloped, almost pristine nature in the suburbs, with wonderful views,’ says Melanie van Zyl. You’ll have great vistas of the city from atop the hill near the Northcliff Tower.

 

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4. The Wilds Municipal Nature Reserve, Houghton

The Wilds’ 16 hectares of lush, thick foliage makes for a wondrous urban getaway. A world within a world, you’ll still be able to feel the Joburg pulse but have the freedom to reconnect with your own thoughts – and you can bring Rover and Fluffy too!

 

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5. Mogale’s Gate Biodiversity Centre, Cradle of Humankind, Mogale

 

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Provided you arrange an appointment, you can learn a thing or two about the region’s grassland biome and the biodiversity it boasts. Feel free then to hike and look out for the game and other wildlife that call this special region home.

6. Day-tripping in nature

 

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If you have a bit more time on your hands, you may be keen to head out for the day.

Two lesser-known day trips for picnics and hiking in Joburg include heading to the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve in Joburg South or East Rand’s Modderfontein Reserve.

A great source of information for getting to know all the best of Joburg’s nooks and crannies (including the natural ones) is Secret Johannesburg by Lisa Johnston and CL Bell, from R299 from popular book retailers.

 

Featured image: Melanie van Zyl

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