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Rietvlei Nature Reserve Trails

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15km from Centurion

-25.8662, 28.2646

5 - 12km, 1 - 2hours, Easy

+27 12 358 1810/1/2, +27 12 345 2274

Configuration: This is a circular route with optional loops

General Information: Grassland plains and undulating hills. The trails are well marked. The two circular routes can be combined for a longer run. The reserve is open from 06:00 to 18:00 daily. Entrance is via the angling gate on Nellmapius Drive.

There are ablutions and good cell phone reception.


Pretoria seems to brim with trail running routes within the proverbial stone’s throw from the CBD. Rietvlei Nature Reserve is one such destination. Situated 38km from OR Tambo International Airport and 18km from the Pretoria city centre, this 3 800ha reserve incorporates a mix of both grassland and undulating hills. Spectacular views combine with an antediluvian lava stream and the Rietvlei Dam to create an outdoor arena with massive appeal to trail runners. The Rietvlei Dam is fed by Sesmyl Spruit.

Trails at Rietvlei Nature Reserve combine a network of jeep tracks and easy single-track meandering within the surrounding kopjes. The signage is generally good and differentiates between the two main routes. Moderate terrain makes this the perfect spot for rookie runners to explore, with basic facilities that include ablutions and running water.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve boasts two main routes, each featuring completely different terrain. Both are nonetheless ideal for beginner trail runners or those in search of easy and relaxing runs. The first route sets off from the fishing hut and loops mainly to the north-east side of the dam. The trail is in the region of 6.2km long and follows a fairly flat course through grassland plains and some thickets. It is ideal for fast and aggressive trail running.

The second trail starts at the parking area just down the road from the entrance and is approximately 5km in length. You again traverse grassy plains and a few hills overlooking the dam along a few nice climbs and plateau single-track. More experienced trail runners can combine the two via a short tarmac stretch for a satisfying 12km run.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve is a high-risk area during typical Highveld thunderstorm activity, so avoid any threatening conditions. Trail runners should also be on the lookout for snakes, ticks and MTB riders on the trails. Take the time to plan your route and inform others of your itinerary.

Follow the R21 north and turn right onto the Irene/Rietvleidam off-ramp. Continue east along Nellmapius Drive over the Boeing Street traffic light (there is an Engen garage on your left). Look out for the entrance to the reserve on your right ( your vehicle either in front of the fishing hut or down the road on the right. The first trail starts and finishes at the fishing hut, while the second trail head is in the parking area down the road.

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