If the Covid regulations had done one thing – it is to make us appreciate the outdoors even more. We’re not talking about trekking in Nepal, but simply taking a walk in the local park.

Even cities like Joburg are dotted with little pockets of nature where you can take a picnic, put on your walking shoes and sit under a tree.

When gold was discovered on the farm Langlaagte it sparked a rush of prospectors to the Witwatersrand and the result is Africa’s City of Gold – Jozi!

Little thought was given to city planning and less to preserving nature. Luckily for us some areas were preserved and today are a haven for stressed city-dwellers.

Here are some favourites for you to explore. Check their websites and Facebook pages for opening times and other details regarding the Covid regulations.

Modderfontein Nature Reserve

Continuing on the theme of gold, the village of Modderfontein was established to serve the explosives factory which provided dynamite to the mines. The nature reserve, as we know it today, was a safe buffer zone between the factory and the village to protect the residents in case of an explosion.

The 265-hectares offers ample space for taking a jog, cycling or a leisurely hike. The reserve’s fauna and flora are diverse enough to keep nature enthusiasts busy.

More information : https://modderfonteinreserve.co.za/

Suikerbosrand Gorge

Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

This reserve in part of the world famous Vredefort Dome which is a world heritage site. Apart from interesting geological formations which provide for dramatic scenery, the reserve boasts over 200 bird species and variety of mammal species including  zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest mountain reedbuck and kudu.

There is a network of mostly circular trails which vary in length and difficulty. An ideal opportunity to dust off your walking shoes, grab some sun-block and head for the hills.

More information : http://www.friendsofsuikerbosrand.co.za/

Cradle of Humankind
Cradle of Humankind

Cradle of Humankind

We have all been learning new skills under lockdown, how about learning about our origins. South Africa has one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, and it is just 90 minutes’ drive from Johannesburg.

At the Maropeng Visitor Centre you can take a trip back through time, starting with the formation of the planet and moving all the way through the evolutionary processes that culminated in the world as we know it today.

There is also a well developed tourism industry around the area which offers activities for the whole family.

More information : https://www.maropeng.co.za/cradle-of-humankind