Exploring Groenkloof Nature Reserve

The weekend is once again approaching. And it’s coming up quick. You might be thinking “so much to do, so little time”. Well, you’ll find that statement rings true for a day at Groenkloof Nature Reserve, just a hop, skip and jump away from the heart of Pretoria. 

Exploring Groenkloof Nature Reserve

This massive 600 ha reserve was first established in 1895 by Paul Kruger. It was the first of its kind on the continent and one of the oldest nature reserves in Pretoria. And its beauty has prevailed through the years. When heading into Groenkloof Nature Reserve, you’ll be trading in the city for a piece of its history.

Get Active

If you’re into fitness, you’re in for a real treat. The reserve has three hiking trails for you to try. These vary in difficulty and cater to your fitness level. You can choose between the Red Trail (3.5km), the White Trail (4.5km), and the Yellow Trail (10.5 km). These trails are great for you trail runners out there. The trails all start and end close to the parking lot for your comfort. And if you don’t want to go hiking by yourself, they offer guided hikes as well.

Exploring Groenkloof Nature Reserve

Bring along your mountain bike if you’re seeking a bit more of an adrenaline rush. The mountain bike trail is about 25km in length. There is a single and a jeep track available, so it’s great for both experienced and novice riders. Do not forget your helmet though, as they have a strict ‘no helmet, no ride’ policy. Safety first, right? If you don’t have a mountain bike, you can rent one at the reserve.

There are horse trails available for the horse lovers out there. These day trails are guided and last for about 1–2 hours. There’s also a ±14km 4x4 route for off-road junkies. The reserve offers basic overnight facilities for overnight hiking and 4x4 trails, but these have to be booked in advance.

Along these various trails in the reserve you’re bound to spot some game. The reserve is home to a plethora of wildlife, including giraffe, zebra, blue wildebeest, red rartebeest and sable, among others. So, don’t forget your camera.

Exploring Groenkloof Nature Reserve

For Your Leisure

For those of you who just want to spend a relaxing day out, Groenkloof Nature Reserve has you covered. You can enjoy the on-site picnic area and braai facilities. Just remember to bring your own braai wood. This is great for a relaxed outdoor family lunch. If you want to host a little get-together, the reserve offers lapa hire. This is perfect for an out-of-the-city party experience. They also offer a night drive that includes the use of the lapa.

If birding is something you enjoy, you’ll love this place. Over 100 bird species have been recorded thus far. And who knows, maybe you’ll find one that has yet to be recorded. The abundance of wildlife is sure to keep you entertained as well. So, why not go for a slow stroll? You’re sure to see some amazing animals, even on foot.

Exploring Groenkloof Nature Reserve

Come Along and Enjoy

Although this reserve sounds like a great place to clear your head, it’s best to come with a friend or in a group. Try not to wander off trails, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s best to be safe.

There is an entrance fee, so come prepared! Adults pay R38, pensioners R22 and kids R11. Children 6 years and under get free entrance. The reserve is open from 05h30 to 19h00 in the summer months, so you can enjoy the sunrise or sunset.  There are no coffee shops or restaurants on-site, so it’s best to bring along some snacks and water.

So, grab your gear and your friends and family and head down to Groenkloof Nature Reserve. It’s perfect for a day free from the hustle and bustle of the city.

By Tilana de Wachter

Exploring Groenkloof Nature Reserve