Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, Gauteng
A real breathing space of green open grassland, the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy borders the Cradle of Humankind in a green lung between Johannesburg, Krugersdorp and Pretoria. This beautiful green space spans roughly 10 000 hectares and a wealth of different habitats and landscapes that provide a refuge for South Africa's wildlife and a place to both recharge and revitalise.
Rhenosterspruit is a voluntary association that has as its sole purpose the protecting, conserving and managing of existing natural resources. Their key objectives are sustainability and biodiversity, which might not be the reason you choose to visit here, but the magnificence of the views and the sheer joy of a peaceful and generous space for 'time out' is. Besides, the ethos of doing something 'in your backyard' that is the backbone of a conservancy deserves support; anyone with some affinity with the natural world will gain from an escape into this expanse of mountain tops, karee trees, aloes, birds, caves and beetles.
If Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy were not enough of an attraction already then the knowledge that it is home to numerous sites of heritage significance - cultural, archaeological, palaeontological and living heritage (sangomas visit to perform rituals at sacred places on the conservancy) - adds an element of mystery.
Described as 'a treasure of open space, sweeping vistas and uninterrupted views', the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy is also the base of the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre that cares for injured or ill game before returning it to the wild.
Did you know?
The Conservancy has within its borders confirmed digs where Robert Broom was busy at the time of the great discovery in the Cradle. Digs abandoned now, but very likely to contain interesting and valuable artefacts. The digs run on the same contour as the Sterkfontein caves, and may even interlink in a vast landscape below the surface.