Get out into the fresh air and beat the Covid.
Rivonia Premier Lodge has lush gardens to stroll in, but for those who like serious exercise there are lots of private nature reserves crisscrossed by well-maintained hiking trails just a short drive away.
- Sable Ranch Hiking
Sable Ranch is situated just off the R96 close to Hekpoort in the Magaliesburg mountain region. Only approximately 25 min away from Johannesburg/Krugersdorp makes this trail an easy reach for the entire family to enjoy a day out in Mother Nature.
Hiking, The trail is open from Monday to Sunday, as well as on public holidays. Times: September to March from 06h30 – 17h00 and April to August from 07h00 – 17h00. Tarrifs are R70pp and R30 for children (Cash Only). There are 4 trails, namely a 5km, 8km, 10km and 12km. Last hikers to start at 14:00. Take note that the trail is pet friendly and that there are braai and picnic spots available.
BOOKINGS: 064 528 9339 / 079 896 7374/ email@example.com
- Kings Kloof Trails
40 minutes drive from Joburg in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, this rugged reserve has hiking and mountain biking trails that meander through a range of interesting landscape including wooded valleys, rocky outcrops and scenic river crossings. Set off very early with plenty of supplies to tackle the most challenging route, the 20km Black Route, which includes some steep inclines and is best tackled by experienced hikers. Easier hikes include the largely flat 7km Blue Route and the 14km Green Route.
BOOKINGS: Open Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. No prior booking is required although it can get busy so arrive as early as you can. N14 (extension of Hendrik Potigieter, 18.40 km, Muldersdrift Phone: 082 355 3943
- Modderfontein Reserve
A fifteen minute drive away from Rivonia Premier Lodge you find the Fourways Farmers’ Market on Taroko Farm Modderfontein Reserve, Norfolk Lane, Klipfontein Entrance on Arden Rd (off Ardeer Rd), Modderfontein.
This peaceful, privately managed 275-hectare reserve is crisscrossed by relatively flat hiking and cycling trails that are very well-maintained and signposted. There are four specially designed mountain biking routes ranging from 10km to 40km, and an 8km hiking trail complemented by shorter walks that skirt around the reserve’s wetland areas.
BOOKINGS: All hiking and cycling trails are open daily for exercise and the Fourways Farmers Market is also open on weekends. There is no need to book although the reserve may close to extra visitors if it gets too full, so we recommend getting there early. An entrance fee to the market is charged.
Phone: +27 10 534 6622 ( Mon-Friday during office hours )
- Van Gaalen Trails
One hour from Sandton the Van Gaalen trails cross over 30 private farms with over 80km of single-track throughout the Skeerpoort Valley. They offer opportunities for mountain biking, trail running, hiking & birding. The manicured routes are well prepared and maintained which attract many athletes to the area.
Day permits and mandatory indemnity forms are available at the Trail/Farm Shop.
Day Permits: Hiking/ Trail running – R40 / MTB – R60
(Children under 12 are free) For any trails queries, please contact Victor Schipper at 0835603318 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BOOKINGS: Only required for groups larger than 20 people.
On the southern border of Gauteng Province, this vast 19,000-hectare nature reserve is also an important area of archaeological research with the remnants of an ancient pre-colonial Tswana city recently discovered in the area. Named after the sugarbush (suikerbos), the reserve hosts meandering hiking trails that snake over the Suikerbosrand mountain range as well as a 60km tarred self-drive / cycling route that traverses the rolling hills taking in several dams and birding hides.
Day hikers can choose from the 11km Bokmakiere trail (make sure to leave very early, the area gets very hot around midday), the easy 4.5km Cheetah trail or the wheelchair-accessible 1km Toktokkie trail. Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, Heidelberg Road, R550 off N3, Nigel.
BOOKINGS: Phone: 011 439 6300
- Hennops Hiking Trail
A 45-minute drive north of Joburg, but more than worth the journey. Choose from three circular hiking routes – a short 2km walk, the 6km Zebra Route or the more challenging 11.3km Krokodilberg Route (4-5 hours for experienced hikers). All trails begin by crossing the Hennops River either by a suspension bridge or via a fun old-fashioned ‘cable car’ which works by a pulley system. The trails then meander through the surrounding hills with good views of the nearby Magaliesberg mountains.
BOOKINGS: There is no need to book in advance to visit Hennops Hiking Trail. Note the last entrance to the trails is at 13:00.
Entrance off the R511 (10km south of the R105 junction).
- De Wildt Adventure Trails
Bordering Hartbeespoort Dam, about a 30 minute drive from Pretoria, this hilly hiking reserve which hugs the rocky foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains has an array of different trails to suit all ages and fitness levels. Families will enjoy the 4.6km Kiepersol Trail or the 1.8km Pensioners Trail, while for something more challenging there’s the six to eight hour Groenklip Hiking Tour (you will want to set off at dawn to have plenty of time). The hike takes you right up to the top of the mountain via a small waterfall.
BOOKINGS: The trails are open strictly by prior appointment only. Hikers and trail runners must book and pay for their visit in advance by email at email@example.com
R513 Yellow board no. 78E, Farm Schietfontein Portion 19, Schietfontein, De Wildt.
This extensive nature reserve covers more than 600 hectares and is a popular city escape in south Joburg. Blesbok, zebra and other game roam the hillsides of the ‘rock river mountain’ and there are various signposted hiking ranging from 3km to 9km. The circular 8km Dassie Trail starts at the Silent Pools entrance and winds its way to the top of the hill, or take the slightly shorter and flatter Bloubos trail that follows the river. Neighbouring the reserve is Thaba Trails (101 Klip River Dr, Mulbarton), a dedicated mountain biking area that opens on weekends with a 6km, 15km or 30km biking trail to choose from.
BOOKINGS: This is a public nature reserve and no prior booking is required.
Entrance at Silent Pools, Frandaph Dr, Mondeor.
- Adventure Zone Voortrekker Monument
The new hiking trails offer a choice of 3km, 5km or 8km routes. The trails scale the hill on which the Voortrekker Monument stands before tracing a winding path through the grasslands below and heading up again to the steeper slope on the adjacent hill up to the Schanskop Fort where you’ll find some of the best views of Pretoria.
BOOKINGS: The hike should be booked in advance by phone so the team can know to expect you. Call +27 72 274 8259 to arrange your visit. You can pay the hiking fees (R80 per person) when you arrive.
- Rustig Hiking Trails
This historic family farm sits right below the craggy foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range and is popular with day visitors who come to hike the Rustig trails which climb their way up the crags to offer some spectacular views across northern Gauteng. There’s a choice of easier trails ranging from three to five kilometres and a more challenging full day 13 kilometre trail which will take your right up to the top of the mountain. The trails pass through various terrain taking in grasslands, cave entrances and rocky outcrops with rewarding views down into the valley below.
BOOKINGS: Advanced booking is required to ensure a safe number of hikers on the trails. You must book your hike beforehand online on the Rustig website.
Portion 91, Plaas Hartebeesfontein, Hekpoort.
Rivonia Premier Lodge advises readers to check the accuracy of the above information as, in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. restrictions may be in place and hours, accessibility and entrance fees may have changed.