Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Overview of the Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Groenkloof Nature Reserve is located near the infamous Fountains Valley in Pretoria, just 5kms outside the CBD. President Paul Kruger proclaimed the area a game sanctuary on 25 February 1895, making it first in Africa. The purpose was to protect the shy oribi, and other game that were being wiped out by hunters.
After 1910, portions of the area were rented out for the establishment of commercial wood plantations for the production of paper. By the late 1960's, the City Council of Pretoria became the owner of Groenkloof Nature Reserve. The nature reserve once again changed hands and became the responsibility of the Department of Nature Conversion in 1994.
Vegetation and Game in the Groenkloof Nature Reserve
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve features low, broken ridges varying in steepness, with semi-pen thicket, dominated by a variety of woody species such as the Acacia Caffra. The rest of the area is dominated by a variety of grasses.
Wildlife on the Groenkloof Nature Reserve include zebra, jackal, duiker, kudu, impala, blue wildebeest, blesbok, red hartebeest, ostrich, giraffe and sable, as well as a rich bird life.
Hiking in Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Three well marked and maintained hiking trails are laid out in the reserve:
- 4.0km (white trail)
- 3.5km (red trail)
- 10.5km (yellow trail)
The 10.5km trail is marked easy to moderate, and anyone of average fitness can easily complete the trail in about 5 hours. The trail features a few semi-steep ridges and the opportunity of seeing animals.
Other Activities and facilities at Groenkloof Nature Reserve
- Horse trails
- Night drives
- 20km Mountain bike trail
- 5km motorcar trail
- 14km 4x4 route
- Picnic Area
- Braai area
- Ablution facilities
Review of Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Groenkloof provides hikers and other nature enthusiasts with a fun day-outing.
We did the 10.5km yellow hiking trail, and found it easy enough and quite scenic. The most exciting part of the hike was when we almost literally walked into the Giraffe family, which were peacefully feeding on the top leaves of some trees.
We also saw ostrich, zebra and wildebeest. The hiking trail provides very beautiful views of Pretoria. Seeing as it is a very popular hiking area, we ran across a few other groups also enjoying the pleasures of one of the few unspoiled areas in Pretoria.
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve is also ery popular with mountain bikers, as the area features a network of sand roads crisscrossing the reserve.
The nearby Fountains Valley is not seen as a very safe area, and I would therefore recommend that you visit Groenkloof Nature Reserve on a sunny Saturday or Sunday, as there are sure to be plenty other people in the area. Safety in numbers, and all...