Kibler Park, Johannesburg

Literally nestled along the western parameter of the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, Kibler Park lies in the south of Johannesburg close to the suburbs of Alveda, Mayfield Park and Olifantsvlei.

Perhaps because of its association with the nature reserve, Kibler Park does not suffer the usual stigma attached to living in the southern reaches of the city. Whilst it is true that there is more to do in the northern suburbs, and some of the best clubs and local restaurants are there, the southern suburbs are the epitome of the city's newest and vibrant campaign - 'You Make Joburg Great' - it's about the people, not the attractions.

Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is the biggest official nature reserve in the city. You'll not only find zebra, black wildebeest and any number of birds, but there are also six hiking trails that make it one of the city's best kept secrets. And all of this only 11 kilometres from Joburg's centre.

Guided rambles and walks are arranged often during the month, usually on the second and fourth Sunday, that take one along the nine kilometres worth of trails. Through the park runs the Bloubosspruit, which almost became a dam (the foundations of the dam wall remain), except that the Anglo Boer War happened and plans were shelved.

From the air one can see 19 stone-walled Iron Age settlements that date from around 1500. These, together with other identified sites in the area, suggest a large pastoral Tswana community once lived here. There are plans to build a replica. Since then, part of the reserve spent time as a Voortrekker farm, bought by the city council only in 1950, and proclaimed a nature reserve in 1984.

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