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Rietvlei Nature Reserve

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15km from Centurion

-25.8829, 28.263


+27 12 358 1811


Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve covers an area of 3 800 hectares and protects large tracts of endangered Bankenveld grassland and has a variety of wildlife.

Its open plains and undulating hills dotted with thornveld thickets are just minutes from central Pretoria and support 1 600 head of game including blesbok, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, eland, Burchell's zebra, waterbuck, reedbuck, springbok, steenbok and grey duiker. There are also cheetah, leopard, buffalo and white rhino on the reserve. Rietvlei’s lions are kept in a large central enclosure that you can arrange to visit with a guide.

The Rietvlei and Marais Dams on the Sesmyl Spruit also provide a wealth of open water and wetland habitats and spongy marshes within the reserve, where birds flourish. Look out for the northern black korhaan and secretary bird as well as water birds such as the white-breasted cormorant, little grebe, yellow-billed duck and common moorhen.

The reserve has a number of well-run visitor facilities and a good network of tar and dirt roads that make game viewing easy. You can book horse trails and hiking trails through the reserve, make use of the scenic picnic site and three  bird hides, or learn more about the area’s biodiversity on a guided activity.

Angling, with a permit, is permitted on the western shore of the Rietvlei Dam and night drives can be arranged for groups of eight or more.

The Rietvlei Dam, which provides Pretoria with 15% of its water, also has a recreational area with a sailing club and campsites.  Just 18km from the centre of Pretoria, it can get busy on weekends and it is advisable to book for activities and accommodation.


  • Camping area with ablution blocks adjacent to the dam
  • Self-catering chalets sleeping 6
  • There are also overnight hiking huts.

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