With its perfect coupling of wide open spaces and challenging hills, the trails around Joburg are perfect for lovers of the outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a budding climber, or a fitness fanatic, there’s no shortage of fantastic hiking trails in and around Gauteng. Here are our favourites.
Despite being centrally located in Joburg, Melville Koppies is an incredible nature reserve with remarkable vegetation and hiking trails. With entirely indigenous greenery, expect to see a rich variety of Highveld grasses, flowers and trees. As a Johannesburg City Heritage Site, it’s the last piece of the city’s ridges that has been conserved as it was before the discovery of gold in 1886, so expect to find as much history as nature when hiking here. Visit the Melville Koppies website for the calendar of guided tours (which cover about 4km over three hours with regular stops) or guided hikes (which cover 10km on some steep rocky slopes over three hours.)
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
A little further out of Joburg, the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is near the town of Heidelberg. Set on 11,595ha of flora- and fauna-rich land, and with 66km of trails, gates are open from 7am to 6pm and hikes can last anything from a few hours to six days. All trails start from the information centre where you can also get permits and keys for overnight huts. While Suikerbosrand is known as a hiking destination for more experienced adventurers, there are also shorter trails like the 4km Cheetah Trail.
Hennops Hiking Trail
Situated in a picturesque game reserve, the Hennops hiking trail consists of two different trails. Meandering along the Hennops River before veering into the mountains, both the 11km Crocodile Trail and the 6km Zebra Trail begin with an exciting river crossing on a suspension bridge, and are later followed by an equally thrilling river crossing in a cable car. Open to keen hikers and those looking for a more chilled trek, the self-guided style of the hike means that you can take it at your own pace. Be sure to wear good walking shoes and pack a lot of sunscreen.
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