Parks & Wilderness Areas of Gauteng
Parks & Wilderness Areas of South Africa
The nature of South Africa's conserved areas varies enormously. Many are rugged wilderness areas that are the preserve of hardy mountaineers. Others, particularly those around the dams and populated areas, are easily accessible to all.
There are wonderful botanical gardens and green corridors in the big cities. Some are playgrounds or places to sit with binoculars and watch the birds and the world go by. Most boast captivating landscapes and geological formations or host unique flora or fauna. Many are devoted to preserving rock art and other examples of the country’s rich cultural heritage.
It’s the big game parks that attract the most visitors. The Kruger National Park and KwaZulu-Natal reserves are perhaps the best known of this type, but there are numerous other reserves in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and Eastern Cape where you can see the Big 5.
Although game viewing is also popular in the Northern and Western Cape, the reserves in these provinces are as much about the spectacular scenery, open spaces, starry skies and extraordinary spring flower displays.
Many of the reserves are steeped in history. Historic battlefields are a feature of many of the reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. The province’s Drakensberg Mountains are a veritable outdoor gallery, home to the largest collection of bushman rock art in the world. There is also a high concentration of magnificent paintings in caves throughout the Cederberg Wilderness area. Sites like Mapungubwe National Park are as famous for their archaeological treasures as for their natural heritage. So, whaterver your interests, there is bound to be something to suite your taste.
Articles & Blogs
Mountain Sanctuary Park6:30am 27 Jan
Mountain Sanctuary Park
Less than an hour and a half from Johannesburg is a destination that is located in the Magaliesberg Mountains offering any nature enthusiast a chance to be in a serene and majestic setting. The picturesque reserve is a hidden treasure welcoming campers, hikers, bird watchers and anyone needing some time out to relax.
Arriving at Mountain Sanctuary Park, I couldn’t help but notice the mountainous and rough terrain that surrounded my vehicle. Would we get lost in the wilderness, forced to survive on natural resources and build a...
Nightjar Travelled9:51am 17 Oct
The Rynfield Bunny Park on Pretoria Road in Benoni with its free entrance is the perfect setting for a nice picnic outing for families with young children. It is quite spacious with open areas, playground equipment, walkways, ponds and enough large shady trees. The park and toilets are kept clean and the playground equipment is well maintained.
Children can feed the variety of farm animals like bunnies, ducks and geese which roam around freely. The more ‘dangerous’ animals like donkeys, goats and cows are kept in enclosed camps but could...
Melville Koppies10:14am 21 Feb
They say that our nature reserves are meant to be an educational experience, but how often do you do more than read the list of fauna on the back of the map they give you at the entrance? Well, if you're in Joburg then you no longer have an excuse... Friends of Melville Koppies organise several hikes a month which are led by local experts, who will give you a wealth of information in the field. Best of all, you're practically still in the heart of the city, so you can go and mull it over, over a cocktail or such afterwards! ...
Nightjar Travelled6:30am 10 Dec
Just outside of Jo’burg there’s a nature reserve that is one of the city’s better kept secrets (unless you’re a bird watcher or cyclist). It covers an area of about 11 595 hectares and is home to a variety of mammals, including eland, zebra, red hartebeest, mountain reedbuck, duiker, steenbok, blesbok, and kudu.
On Saturday, a perfect Highveld morning of deep blue skies and birdsong, it was bursting with life. Driving around the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, we had sightings of most of the mammal species and the birders recorded a total of 98 bird species. Back at the picnic...