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Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, Bronkhorstspruit, Northern Gauteng

Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, Bronkhorstspruit Landscape

The 5000ha Ezemvelo Nature Reserve is an unexpected delight so close to Johannesburg, Pretoria and the OR Tambo airport.

The landscape offers spectacular cliffs, gorges, huge rock formations, valleys and magnificent views over the Wilge River and Ezemvelo also has the only ancient San rock paintings open to the public in Gauteng.

The habitat includes the biggest unspoilt grasslands left in South Africa and savannah biomes of valuable biodiversity (some of which is endangered) and which attracts over 280 bird species. It is home to a variety of small and large mammals including kudu, zebras, giraffe, rhino, wildebeest, impala, springbok, leopard, aardwolf and brown hyena. In addition, there is a new species of dung beetle not found anywhere else in the world.

Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, Bronkhorstspruit Wildlife

At Ezemvelo, the focus is on the visitor interacting with nature, and in addition to exploring in your vehicle, you can take one of the many self-guided hiking trails, from 4,6,14 and 23km, which wander along the river and through grasslands and rocky outcrops.  There is also cycling along the roads or on trails and you can experience the wonderful outdoors on horseback. Fishing is also available and tourists can make use of a game drive vehicle and the services of experienced guides.

Tourists may be interested to know that the reserve is also home to a student campus called MERU, where students live and work within nature while studying for their Bachelor of Management in conservation and sustainable living. Combining education, tourism and conservation is a key focus of Ezemvelo Nature Reserve.

There’s a range of accommodation at this lesser known nature reserve, from campsites to rustic wooden family units (sleep six) on a beautiful, rocky outcrop away from the reception area. Facebrick chalets (sleep four) are smaller, but closer to the shop, reception and dam. Shaded camping and caravan sites with electricity are also close by. The units are basic, but comfortable.

Ezemvelo also offers facilities for conferences and weddings.  The impala and the eland lapas are provided for group accommodation.

Reservations: Tel: +27 (0) 13 680 1399: Cell: +27 (0) 83 440 5886: E-mail: Website.

Located on Vlakfontein Road, nearby Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng. You need a sturdy vehicle for the corrugated gravel road to get there.

From Johannesburg: Take the N1 North and turn left at the N4 East. Then turn left at the Bronkhorstspruit East / R25 onto the off-ramp towards Groblersdal. After a further 4.5km turn right at the Vlakfontein gravel road and follow the Ezemvelo signboards for about 20km to the reserve.

From the East Rand: Take the N12 to Bronkhorstspruit. Cross the bridge over the N4 and travel for a further 4.5km. Then turn right at the Vlakfontein gravel road and follow the Ezemvelo signboards for about 20km to the reserve.

More on the quaint town of Bronkhorstspruit More on the Northern Gauteng area