Walking outside in nature is one of the most enjoyable activities for a healthier mind and body. It offers an ideal break from the bustling metropolis, and serves as a fantastic opportunity to bond with friends or family. If you’re in the mood to strut your hiking boots, then pencil in a date to venture out to one of these top-notch hiking spots near Joburg – suitable for novice and experienced hikers alike!
In this lush, unspoiled setting you’ll find three hiking trails, ranging from 2,5- and 5-kilometer walks to a 10-kilometer trail. Each route runs alongside the Hennops River before diverting towards the nearby mountains. No booking is required, but all visitors must purchase a permit from the registration office before entering the estate. There is a dedicated area with picnic spots, swimming pools, and braai facilities that guests are more than welcome to make use of – the ideal place for a family outing! Visit hennopstrails.co.za for more info.
This nature reserve is located a mere 25 minutes from Joburg’s city centre. Here, avid bird watchers will be delighted to find a plethora of bird species to study. Walkers will find 10 mapped out trails they can follow, ranging from a few hours to a full day. Don’t be alarmed if you cross paths with a wildebeest or zebra as these mammals happily roam about the reserve’s grounds. The reserve is open seven days a week, from sunrise till sunset, and entrance is free. Visit klipriviersberg.org.za for more info.
Just an hour outside of Joburg, near Heidelberg, you’ll find the rolling hills scattered across the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. The many hiking trails throughout this reserve covers roughly 66 kilometers, including short 4-kilometre walks and a few overnight trails (there are overnight accommodation options, too!). You’ll have to buy a permit from reception if you’d like to wander these grounds. Visit footprint.co.za/suikerbosrand for more info.
Voted the ‘Best place to get back into nature in Gauteng’, this magical oasis of green beauty is simply a must-see on your local hiking-spots list. Rope the family into packing a picnic basket and set a date for a wholesome family day at Walter Sisulu, located only 50 minutes from Joburg. After paying a small fee, visitors can meander through the vast grounds as they please. There’s a 3,5-kilometre trail that will take you up to the Witpoortjie Waterfall where you’ll be treated to glorious views of the surrounding scenery. Visit sanbi.org for more info.
Modderfontein is only 30 minutes from Joburg and offers visitors a 275-hectare private park, teeming with flourishing vegetation across emerald-green grasslands and a number of delightful picnic spots. There are hiking trails and bicycle trails, as well as guided walks that folks can follow when meandering through the reserve. There’s also an on-site eatery, so if you’re feeling peckish after your walk be sure to grab a quick bite at the Val Bonne Country Estate restaurant. A small conservation fee must be paid upon entering the reserve; visit modderfonteinreserve.co.za for more info.
After an hour and 30 minutes drive from Joburg, you’ll find the Dome Pools site in Magaliesburg. This incredible destination is home to some of the largest and deepest rock pools in the greater Magaliesburg region. A moderate, two-hour walk will lead you to the pools – the perfect spot for eager swimmers! Visitors who aren’t members of the Mountain Club of South Africa must obtain a permit from the club to gain access to the pools by contacting them directly via calling 083 845 1573 or sending an email to [email protected]. Exquisite views, shady picnic spots, and swimming galore… it’s a hiker’s paradise! Visit mcsajohannesburg.org for more info.
Compiled by Features Writer Marike Watson
Features writer by trade, music lover and fine-line illustrator by nature. As an expert on the ’70s era, Marike will happily introduce you to her record collection. She’s passionate about African art and culture. And if she’s not off on an adventure, you’ll most likely find her making coffee.