Gauteng Game and Nature ReservesThe Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve
Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is steeped in history and an abundance of fauna and flora. The reserve is home to 650 species of indigenous plants and trees, while zebra, red hartebeest, porcupines, black wildebeest, otters, blesbok, springbok, duiker and 170 bird species.
There are several destinations to which Jo’burgers can travel to get away for a weekend retreat. But there are fewer available to explore for a morning’s weekend walk, or an afternoon biology lesson with the kids. Imagine if with only a 15km drive from Sandton, that you could land in the heart of a 680 hectare nature reserve? Well you can at the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, (Klipriviersberg Conservancy) dubbed “the jewel of the south”. And what’s more, entry is free.
The main access route seems to be the N1, with entrances on Impala Drive, Peggy Vera Road and Frandaph Drive in the suburb of Kibler Park. The reserve is open from 07h00-18h00 and guided walks are hosted on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, ranging from 5.8km – 9km in length. Additional birding and floral walks appear on Saturdays on their calendar of activities, so be sure to check those out.
The history of the area is well detailed on the website of the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve Association, an 800 member strong interest group, which works closely with Johannesburg City Parks in managing the reserve. Stone age artefacts from 250 000 years ago, suggest that stone age people hunted in the area but did not settle until the iron age, where evidence of settlements from about the year 1500 is apparent.
A large pastoral Tswana community of some 19 settlements was established on the koppies and is evidenced by remnants of the original stone walls, which surrounded their kraals, and reached some 1.5m in height. The inner walls protected their cattle and sheep and sorghum appears to have been the crop of choice.
This Tswana community was eradicated by King Mzilikazi during the early 1800s and the Voortrekkers appear to have been the next inhabitants, with Sarel Marais building a fruit farm in 1850 towards the south of the reserve. The original farmstead was destroyed by fire and the ruins, together with the family cemetery some 500m away, can still be seen.
The Vierfontein dam lies at the northern end of the reserve at the Mondeor gate and was originally intended to supply the whole of Johannesburg with water in the late 1880s. Large stacked quartzite blocks are still visible, which were quarried in Mondeor. Construction was halted, however, with the onset of the Anglo Boer war and the new government concluded that further excavation was uneconomical, and the Vaal river was selected as an alternate water source.
Whether you visit the Klipriviersberg reserve to observe the evidence of its rich history, or for the archaeological sites, abundance of fauna and flora, or join a guided walk, it is certain that you will be well rewarded for your trouble.
Popular Activities in or near Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve
ArtMatters Paint in the Park
ArtMatters is hosting a relaxing and fun weekly paint in the park initiative with the aim of making art more accessible to the public. The setting is perfect for artists, non-artist, kids and adults alike to unleash their creativity with...
More info and contact details: ArtMatters Paint in the Park