Escape the carbon-clogged confines of the city and head out into the wildlands of Gauteng. Yes, it exists and in startling variety and beauty too. We’ve narrowed down a few easy hiking trails guaranteed to give you that fresh-air-breathing-mind-clearing break from the city you desperately need!
1. Sterkfontein Caves, Magaliesberg
So this is not a hike in the traditional sense. But if hiking or walking is all about adventure and discovery, we recommend a walk through the ancient Sterkfontein Caves. A UNESCO world heritage site, the Sterkfontein Caves is home is also referred to as The Cradle of Humankind with the discoveries of the hominid fossils of Mrs Ples and Little Foot, which dates back 4 million years. Not suitable for those who suffer from claustrophobia or those who suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma.
2. Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve (longest trail 9km)
Varying in levels of difficulty, the Klipriviersberg nature reserve is the ideal hiking spot for beginners and advanced hikers alike. The nature reserve is stocked with zebra, wildebeest and hartebeest, adding to the already stunning scenic environment. This destination is one to be shared with the whole family.
3. Hennops Hiking Trails (from 2.5km)
For an easy yet picturesque walk, we recommend the Dassie trail. For your convenience, they even provide a cable car to take you across the river – making it even easier. On your hike, be sure to look out for dassie caves, Hospital cave and Pruimpie se gat.
4. Melville Koppies Nature Reserve (from 4km)
For a guided hike or tour, the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is your best choice. Ideal for kids over 6 as they provide educational talks by professional guides who will gladly teach them about the local fauna and flora. Makes for a great family day out.
5. Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden (from 3.5km)
We couldn’t write a blog post about nature walks and not mention the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. Known for its breathtaking waterfall at the end of the JCI Geological trail, there is much here to enjoy. The garden also hosts a variety of events throughout the year.
Kick off off your corporate shoes, lace up your hiking boots and go and discover the natural beauty of Gauteng, right on your doorstep. When you’re done, explore similar options in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KZN and Mpumalanga!