Faerie Glen Nature Reserve (Groenkloof, Pretoria)
Overview of Faerie Glen Nature Reserve
Faerie Glen Nature Reserve in Groenkloof, Pretoria, is a popular 128ha nature reserve, with idyllic scenery, an abundance in bird life, and a series of nature trails and walks. The reserve was originally part of the farm Hartbeespoort which belonged to Mr. H Struben, and now forms part of the Bronberg Conservation area that was declared in 1980.
Faerie Glen Nature Reserve offers quite a bit for nature- and bird lovers. The reserve features several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels. The hiking trails traverse grasslands, officially called "Gold Reef Mountain Bushveld with rocky quartzite ridges" to the north of the reserve, "Marikana Thornveld" in the valley, and "Acacia Karoo woodland" to the south. The South African National Flower, the Protea, can be found growing in the hills.
The abundant grassland and vegetation is in part due to the perennial Moreleta Spruit, which flows through the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve. Birds also love to frequent this nature reserve, and several rare birds can occasionally be spotted. Smaller mammals, although evidence exist, are very hard to spot, but include mongoose, hedgehogs, hares, porcupines, bush babies, and genets.
The Faerie Glen Nature Reserve itself does not offer a wide range facilities, but several nearby shopping malls will cater for your needs. The reserve does however have bathroom facilities, and dogs are welcome, as long as they are kept on their leash.
Visitors can pick from three hiking trails, or do a combination of any of these.
- Hadeda Route (2.3km)
- Acacia Route (3.2km)
- Kiepersol Route (4.2km)
Review of Faerie Glen Nature Reserve
In contrary to the many myths surrounding Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, it is now deemed safe since the area was fenced off (well, according to the reception guy in any event!). So, with this in mind, we set off on an adventure.
Great was our frustration however when we found that the trails are not very well marked at all. Luckily we were provided a map at reception, which does provide some assistance. But, our initial frustration was quickly forgotten when we started on one of the trails. (I still have no idea which one it was exactly, due to the missing trail markers!)
The easy to follow trail is absolutely beautiful, with lush vegetation and more than enough shade. Although the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve hiking trail does have its steepish parts, overall it is fairly moderate and makes for quite a fun hike.