5 beautiful hiking trails near Johannesburg

Posted on 5 November 2023

Hiking is a great, affordable escape from the humdrum of daily life and the fresh air and scenic surroundings work wonders for the body, mind and soul.

For those living in Johannesburg, the city has an abundance of beautiful green spaces to hike in, which isn’t surprising considering that it lays claim to one of the biggest human-made urban forests in the world.

1. Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge

This expansive reserve can be found within a 160-hectare conservancy in the Cradle of Humankind area. One of the most scenic hikes in Johannesburg, the 10 km trail will take you around a dam flanked by an Instagram-worthy dam wall. There are shorter trails as well as mountain biking trails too, and you’re quite likely to encounter wildlife on your route. Once you’re done hiking, you can relax in the gardens or on the artificial white sand beach, or go on a leisurely boat ride on the dam which is home to a family of hippos and many water birds.

Open every day.

Entrance fees – R70 for hikers

2. Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

The largest nature reserve in Joburg, Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is a popular escape in the south of the city. Hikers are spoilt with a network of 12 hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, which lead into the lush, surrounding hills, where you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surroundings. Do the red Sunbird trail to get your heart racing or follow the river running through the reserve on the blue Bloubos trail for a more leisurely stroll. Look out for the animals and birds along the way, including zebras, antelopes, dassies and eagles. As if that’s not enough, the reserve has some rich history behind it too. Stone-age artifacts have been discovered there and the remains of a 19th-century Voortrekker farm can be seen as well.

Open every day.

Entrance fees – None

3. Kings Kloof Trails

Kings Kloof is situated on a pretty farm in the Muldersdrift area. The meandering trails will take you past fields of grazing cows, across hills and rivers, through wooded valleys, and around a dam. The attractive waterfalls are another highlight that shouldn’t be missed. There are several hiking trails that range from 6 km to 27 km, and from easy to technical, with the longer trails going up rocky outcrops with impressive views.

Open on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.

Entrance Fee: R40

4. Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Situated below the striking 200-metre-high cliffs of the Roodekrans Ridge, the picturesque Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is a lush oasis that has been attracting visitors since the 1800’s. What sets it apart is the Witpoortjie Waterfall, the most beautiful waterfall in Gauteng, and the resident pair of black Verraux’s Eagles which nest in the cliffs.

There are numerous walking and hiking trails winding through the gardens. The longest one is 3.5 km long and will take you to the summit of the waterfall and around the opposite side of the reserve!

Open every day.

Entrance fees: R60


5. Modderfontein Nature Reserve

Once the site of a dynamite factory, this 275-hectare reserve on the outskirts of Edenvale in the East Rand is now a serene place where you can stretch your legs and enjoy nature. The hiking is relatively flat, making it great for beginners. There are 6 trails with the longest one being 4 km. The reserve features three dams, natural springs, hills and grassland, which you will pass through on your hike. It is also home to a number of animals like antelopes and jackals. The Fourways Farmers Market is hosted there on weekends.

Open every day.

Entrance fees: R30

By Sara Essop

In Africa and Beyond


Also Read: The 20 Best Restaurants in Johannesburg 

 The Most Romantic Places in Johannesburg



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