North West Game and Nature ReservesThe Kgaswane Mountain Reserve
The Kgaswane Mountain Reserve set in the hills above the town of Rustenburg, spans some forty-square kilometres of the Magaliesberg offering towering quartzite peaks and grassy vleis that allow visitors incredible views and some impressive hikes.
Perfect for weekend hiking because of the easy access from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, Kgaswane Mountain Reserve is littered with beautiful rock formations, streams that wend their way through valleys that give rise to a unique lush vegetation completely different from the surrounding veld or the rugged cliffs that are perfect for predators like the Cape vulture and Martial eagle.
Originally named 'Rustenburg Nature Reserve' and renamed to Kgaswane Nature reserve, it lies at the western end of the Magaliesberg Protected Natural Environment, about 100 km from Pretoria and Johannesburg. Originally established on the farm Rietvallei which once belonged to President Paul Kruger, it has been gradually expanded over the years and now covers some 4500 hectares.
Although broadly defined as sour bushveld, the reserve's vegetation is varied, comprising grassland, scrub, mixed woodland, and even scattered pockets of fynbos. More than 115 tree and bush species are known to grow in this mountain reserve as well as a number of rare plants.
Kgaswane is famous for its breeding herd of sable antelope in particular, but there is a large population of other antelope like the grey duiker, kudu, oribi, zebra and waterbuck. As a result there are a small number of predators as well and the caracal, black-backed jackal and leopard have all been sighted within the Kgaswane mountain reserve.
There are several day hikes or biking trails that are by far the best ways in which to explore Kgaswane Mountain Reserve. The 5 kilometre Peglarae trail is fairly steep but includes most of the reserve’s highlights, whilst the 2 kilometre Vlei ramble is shorter and ends at a viewing hut on the vlei.
Overnight hikes follow the Rustenburg hiking trail, with accommodation in basic huts that include cooking utensils and firewood (winter can get really cold). The Baviaanskrans Route, though almost 20 kilometres in length, is worth doing for the waterfall view and the Garden of Remembrance that are included on the trail.
Popular Activities in Kgaswane Mountain Reserve
Baviaanskrans Hiking Route
Day one takes you up towards and through the Garden of Remembrance, after which you follow the Magaliesberg stream to Tierkloof Waterfall. There are rock pools further along the route that offer a perfect stop, before taking the summit of...
More info and contact details: Baviaanskrans Hiking Route
The hike begins at Witkruiskrans camp, a collection of three large A-frame huts, two of which come with six beds in each, whilst the third functions as a kitchen. There is a flush toilet and a bucket shower. Day one is best begun early as it...
More info and contact details: Summit Trail, Kgaswane Mountain Reserve
Follow the clearly marked yellow tags and be sure to pick up a booklet at reception detailing good spots to admire the view and many interesting facts. Be sure to take your camera along as there is a lot to see here and if you are lucky may...
More info and contact details: Peglarae Hiking Trail