Kloofendal TrailEnquire Now
5km from Constantia Kloof
+27 11 674 2980, +27 79 693 5608 www.kloofendalfriends.org.za
Easy trail; Not suitable for children
Kloofendal is a small, 110-hectare nature reserve accessed from Christiaan de Wet Avenue in the Roodepoort suburb of Kloofendal on the West Rand.
The reserve was one of the first nature reserves in Johannesburg and offers urbanites a welcome retreat from city life. The area constitutes a transition zone between the bankenveld and savannah ecosystems of the Highveld and provides an ideal destination for an afternoon or morning stroll with beautiful views over the city.
The park offers various activities (including organised walks and talks mainly organised by Friends of Kloofendal, a voluntary organisation dedicated to its preservation) and you can walk unguided or join one of the excursions led by a qualified field guide. The path is not signposted but a map is available from the security guard on duty.
The trail starts at the amphitheatre. A few hundred metres later, there’s a secluded picnic site under the trees before the trail runs slightly uphill along a well-maintained path and passes next to remains of gold-mining activity. The reserve is on the site of one of Johannesburg’s first mines, the Confidence Reef Mine, where gold was discovered in 1884. The old shafts have been restored and the remains are now a national monument, which can be visited on appointment.
The trail then splits and you can follow a circular route, mostly over craggy quartzite outcrops, either way back to the start. En route you pass a beautiful dam with a bird hide – a great place to relax for a while.
The wildlife on the reserve is surprisingly varied and includes duiker, mountain reedbuck, dassies, mongoose, hedgehogs, black-backed jackal, mole rats, gerbils and more, but part of the trail runs alongside the fenced-off urban neighbourhood and the barbed wire and electricity transmission lines somewhat detract from the pristine character of the original environment.
The reserve is open every day of the week, including public holidays, from 6am to 6pm. It is fully fenced and a security guard is on duty every day but it’s advisable to check that it’s open before planning a visit, as it is occasionally closed due to fire hazard during the winter months.