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Hiking the Magaliesburg


You don’t have to travel to exotic spots such as the Eastern Highlands or the Kilimanjaro in Zimbabwe for a decent hike.

hikingThe Magaliesberg, which is right here on our doorstep is the ideal hiking destination.

Obviously one’s main concern when considering a hike in the Magaliesberg, is safety. If you are planning a hiking trip to the Magaliesberg, make sure you do the necessary research to ensure you’re going to the safer and more popular sections.

Situated just outside the large platinum-mining town of Rustenburg is one such place – the 5,300ha Kgaswane Mountain Reserve. The reserve is characterised by it’s varied habitat of vleis and mountain peaks.

The best part is that you are only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, so you could go there for a day’s hike or camp over a weekend without worrying about the costs.

“…these trails are commonly deserted and delightfully peaceful.”

hikingWhen you first set your eyes on the reserves beautiful landscape, you’ll have to pinch yourself. In the North West Province lies the heart of this reserve and here you’ll find the largest vlei of it’s kind, that traverses the central part of the reserve.This vlei is an important catchment area for the headwaters of the Hex River. The reserves wildlife is a major attraction and the reserve boasts an important breeding site for the sable antelope that seem to love the vlei and these northern slopes.

The reserve offers a variety of hikes and even short hikes, which are suitable for young children. There’s the Vlei Ramble, a 2km long hike, that takes you to the viewing hut on the vlei. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars, as you’ll have ample opportunity to observe some of the 320 bird species that inhabit the area, from Cape vultures to Verreaux’s eagles.



Getting there: The Maropeng Visitor Centre is about 50km west of Johannesburg and you need to take the R400 to get there.

For a little more challenging hike, there’s the Peglarae Trail. This is a 5.5km day-long hike that takes you over some fairly rocky and steep terrain. The 25.3km Summit Route and the 19.5km Baviaanskrans Route are two multi-day options (if you’re super fit, you should be able to complete it in a day). These areas of the reserve are restricted to hikers only and limited numbers are allowed access. There is a humble overnight hut that you can enjoy, which is self-catering.

The best time to hike is in summer, if you would enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the lovely rock pools along the hike. The vegetation is your classic African bushveld, but changes depending on which side of the slope you’re on. If you stand out on the ridges you get stunning overviews of the Savannah and you may spot some of the 800 or so antelope that roam the area.

These hikes are suitable for first-timers, although you should consider the distance you’ll be hiking and take into mind that there will be ups and downs to conquer. Still, considering you get to escape the crazy city life and hike out in the bush far outweighs the sore shoulders and legs.

Telephone Number: 078 885 6505

Hours: Monday – Friday (08:30 – 12:30 CAT)



More info on the town of Magaliesberg More info on the West Rand area

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