Looking to embrace the great outdoors, Ryan Enslin finds an interesting offering and suggests some old favourites too. Try these new hiking and cycling trails in the south of Joburg.
Head out of Joburg for an interesting assortment of activities guaranteed to keep every family member happy. The south of Joburg has always boasted areas of natural beauty. One only has to think of the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve and its many trails and picnic spots.
Recently, a new offering came to light. Thaba Trails, which operates in the Eco Park of the Thaba Eco Hotel, now makes walking, hiking and mountain biking that much easier in the south. In fact, the park offers one of the best trail networks for mountain biking and trail running in Gauteng.
Trails of all kinds
The various trails are well laid out and marked using a colour-coded system to denote different skill levels. They offer everything from non-technical routes to one with the hills taken out, some technical routes and a very technical route. They even welcome e-bikes, which is more my kind of thing.
Located in Thaba Eco Park, you’re bound to come across some of the plains game on your outdoor experience. Keep an eye out for zebra, springbok, black wildebeest, blesbuck, duikers and steen-bokkies. All trails are safe for solo and group rides, walks and runs.
The Thaba Trails office, which runs out of The Cycle Hub, is adjacent to the new Thaba Eco Village development, which will soon see a lifestyle centre with a gym and restaurant among the offering. Find them at 101 Kliprivier Drive, Mubarton.
March this year saw the inaugural Thaba Eco-Challenge family fun charity event take place, set to become an annual highlight in the south of Joburg. The fun event included mountain biking, a trail run and a walk. Supporters were also treated to a buzzing market on the day.
Since you’re hanging out in the south, consider doing the following in the area, too.
Eat the best pizza at Gino’s
Voted as South Africa’s Favourite Pizzeria in the 2021 Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge, Gino’s Pizza has been iconic to the south of Joburg since 1983. Plus it’s my local on a Friday afternoon. Not only will Gino’s prices blow your mind, but his pizza offering is legendary and portions are massive. People from all over Joburg venture to Gino’s to secure themselves the legendary pizza on offer.
If you like banana on your pizza (who doesn’t?) ask the staff for Ryan’s usual. You’ll thank me later.
Find Gino’s Pizza at 126 Harry Street, Robertsham.
Putt away at the Tin Cup
Family and other hangers-on can enjoy the warm Joburg sunshine and fare on offer at the Tin Cup Restaurant while you up your putting game on the driving range. Everyone sorted. Friday and Saturday nights get festive with local DJs sharing their favourite tunes. Be warned, you may land up in the middle of a sokkie-jol. It is the south of Joburg, bru.
Find the Tin Cup at the Rietvlei Lifestyle Centre, 101 Swartkoppies Road, Liefde en Vrede.
Sleep in an Eco Hotel
If you’ve eaten too much of the best pizza in the country and put one golf ball too many on the driving range, after having completed your trail run in record-breaking time, perhaps it’s best to overnight in the south.
The Thaba Eco Hotel is located in a nature preserve, adjacent to the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, as eco-consciousness flows through their veins. This award-winning 4-star hotel offers stunning views, an on-site spa and an E Bar where the trendiest southerners hang out.
Plus, you can enjoy an Eco-Drive to take in the plains game from the comfort of a game viewer. And all of this, just 10 minutes from the city centre.
Find the Thaba Eco Hotel on Impala Road, Kilber Park.
Weekend planning was never this easy, thanks to the people of the south.
Follow more of Ryan’s adventures in and around Joburg here.
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