Take a hike: five spots near Johannesburg

Posted by Adrian Brown on 9 January 2019

Escape the busy Johannesburg life for a day and head into Mother Nature; there’s no better way to reboot and unwind than walking in the fresh air.

Check out these hiking trails that are just a stone’s throw from the city.

Make sure you pack a sufficient amount of water, snacks and a warm jacket and wear appropriate shoes for trekking through the great outdoors.

Five Johannesburg hiking spots to visit 

1. Hennops

Hennops is a nature park situated a short 30 km outside of Pretoria and Fourways, and is home to three different hiking routes for locals to explore. Trails begin from the Hadeda Camp and all routes traverse the Hennops River and cross over a suspension bridge before turning away towards and into the nearby mountains.

The Zebra trail is 5 km long and takes around two hours to complete. It is highly recommended for beginner hikers. The route takes you over the cable car and past the Bomakieries Bos, Oude Muragie and Dassie caves. Along the way, you can look out for zebra, gnu, impala, blesbok, and kudu.

Another short and easy route is the Dassie trail, which is 2.5 km long and takes you past the hospital cave, Pruimpie se gat, and the Dassie cave. This route is a perfect introduction to hiking for little ones.

Krokodilberg trail covers 10 km and takes about 4-5 hours to hike. Hikers will also get a chance to walk across the cable car as they make their way to the finish. Hennops advises that children under the age of 12 years or unfit adults are not advised to take this route. The hospital cave and the dolomite mines are a few spots to look out for on this hike. Small game such as kudu and eland can also be spotted on this trail.

Visitors must register at the office situated at Hadeda Camp, and entrance to Hennops costs R80 per adult and R40 per child (all payments must be made in cash). Registration is open from 7am-2pm. The entrance fee also allows guests access to the swimming pools and braai facilities in the park.

Inside tip: No pets are allowed on the hiking routes. Alcohol is prohibited and at least two litres of water should be taken with you when you go hiking as there are no water points on the trails.

Address: R511, Pretoria, 0001

Website: www.hennopstrails.co.za

Contact: 082 852 9205


2. Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is about 35 minutes to an hour’s drive from Johannesburg and is near the town of Heidelberg. Spanning over 11 000 hectares, the nature reserve is home to an extensive amount of fauna and flora as well as 200 different species of South African birds.

There are various hiking trails in the reserve. These include the Cheetah trail, a 4 km walk for beginners, a 10 km route, the 17 km Bokmarie trail, and a wheelchair-friendly trail for day hikes.

The overnight hiking route is around 60 km long, and there are huts to sleep in along the trail. A popular one is Blesbok, located closest to the Dieploof starting point, and which is equipped with beds, hots showers, toilets, and braai facilities. The Holhoek picnic site halfway along the route has braai facilities and amenities with toilets and running water.

Gates are open from 7am-6pm and hikers are advised to first visit the reception desk to gather information for the hike along with overnight keys for hunts if they intend on doing an overnight trek.

Insider tip: Begin the overnight hike as early in the day as possible: the weather heats up during midday and, dependent on the season, the reserve can be subject to violent thunderstorms in the evening.

Address: R550, Heidelberg, Johannesburg

Website: https://www.gauteng.net/attractions/suikerbosrand_nature_reserve/

Contact: 011 439 6300



3. Uitkyk

A one-day 9km hiking trail overlooking Hartebeespoortdam, Uitkyk is known to many as the ‘jewel’ of Magaliesberg. The route can take an estimated 5 hours to complete and is best suited to fit individuals, but all are welcome to take on the hike.

Bookings for the trail can be made via Fagal Voet – groups of 20 are allowed to hike at a time. There is a car park area with toilet and braai facilities.

Insider tip: There are no water points along the hike, so it’s wise to carry at least two litres of water with you to stay hydrated. Bring along your own camping chairs if you intend to set up a braai at the entrance area.

Fagal Voet charges individuals R60 per person for day visitors and a R55 admin fee per reservation.

Address: Hartbeespoort, 0216

Website: www.fagalavoet.co.za

Contact: 041 378 1439


4. Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve 

Situated a mere 10 km from Johannesburg’s city centre, the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is home to a diversity of animals, from zebra to red hartebeest, black wildebeest and more. Over 230 different bird species have been identified in the park and it is a hot spot for avid twitchers.

The reserve has been listed by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as a critical bio-diversity area. Open seven days a week, the reserve is open to the public and there is no entrance fee.

Address: 4 4th St, Johannesburg South,

Website: www.klipriviersberg.org.za

Contact: 011 943 3578



5. Mellville Koppies Nature Reserve 

Considered a Johannesburg City heritage site due to its historic ridges, the Mellville Koppies Nature Reserve is located in Randburg a 15 minute drive out of the city centre. Hikes and guided tours are available in the mornings and afternoons.

Hikers do not have to book to hike, but It is advised to check the online schedule for available times and dates.

The ridges are a site of historic and geological importance in South Africa, dating back three billion years. Hikers will feel as if they are miles out of the city with the lush vegetation and wildlife around them. Take a walk to the ridge peaks and gaze at the city skyline in the distance.

Address: 3rd Ave, Westdene, Johannesburg.

Website: www.mk.org.za

Contact:  011 482 4797


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Boendoe bashing in the city. #nature #hiking #mellvillekoppies

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