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Wild zebras in the city

Many visitors to South Africa hope to catch a glimpse of some of the country’s magnificent wildlife. However, those on a short city trip probably won’t have time to visit one of the world-famous wildlife reserves. Fortunately, there are some opportunities within the city limits of Johannesburg as the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is only 11 kilometres south of the city centre.

This reserve features a network of hiking trails through a landscape of hills and extensive grassy plains. The most striking attraction is the big game, such as the herds of zebras – a beautiful sight against the backdrop of the city. In addition to the unique flora and fauna, the reserve also features a surprisingly rich historical heritage. Visitors can observe not only remains from Johannesburg’s more recent settlement, but also archaeological finds that go back hundreds of thousands of years.

A zebra in Johannesburg
A zebra in Johannesburg

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Jewel of the south

The reserve is also known as Johannesburg’s jewel of the south because of its large biodiversity. The reserve is not only home to zebras but also to springboks, hartebeests and gnus. Klipriviersberg is a paradise for birders: more than 215 different bird species have been spotted inside the 680 hectare nature reserve. These live among the 600 different species of indigenous plants. Most visitors in the park come to take a walk along the extensive network of trails. Walking routes range from very easy and flat to challenging and steep. This is also a wonderful destination for families with children. On every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month there are free walking tours with a nature guide. That way you will return home with a bit of extra knowledge about the South African flora and fauna.

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“The reserve is not only home to zebras but also to springboks, hartebeests and gnus”

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The Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

Prehistory in the park

The heritage of Klipriviersberg dates back to prehistoric times. Archaeological finds have revealed that the prehistoric man hunted for wild animals in this region. Much later in history, starting in the 15th century, the tribes of the Tswana people settled here. A century after their departure, the country was occupied by Sarel Marais, a farmer. The ruins of his farm can still be seen in the south of the reserve. Around 1900 this area was an important battleground in the Second Boer War.