Johannesburg is know for its urban character, high-rise buildings and shopping malls, but there is another side of the city. Nature is never far away and the city is renowned for a wide range of natural treasures just waiting for your visit.
A good starting point is at the Cradle of Humankind on the West Rand, where some of the oldest pre-human fossils in the world have been found. Nearby you will find the Sterkfontein and Wonder caves, and within a 60-minute radius you will be able to visit a variety of wildlife attractions, including the Krugersdorp Game Reserve and the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve.
The Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden offers a rare opportunity to view one of the few breeding pairs of eagles to live in an urban environment anywhere in the world. The nearby Kloofendal Nature Reserve abounds with indigenous trees and plants.
Nature Reserves and Parks in Johannesburg covers 18 500 hectares of open space and green areas which include 22 nature reserves and 15 bird sanctuaries. The Emmarentia Dam and Zoo Lake is on the central city’s doorstep.
The Magalies Meander and Crocodile Ramble in the West Rand are some of the best arts and crafts routes in South Africa. Artists’ studios – selling and exhibiting original works – tea gardens, restaurants, accommodation, nature reserves and outdoor adventure activities line the routes. This is a great way to experience some true Gauteng hospitality and savour our great climate.
Johannesburg City Gardens and Parks offer many green lungs and you do not have to leave the city to enjoy a brisk walk or leisurely picnic. The many lakes, dams and parks in the city provide residents and visitors alike a chance to relax and unwind.
For the more strenuous, hiking and mountain biking are popular ways to keep fit and explore the city’s natural beauty. A number of trails criss-cross the city – Gillooly’s Farm at Bedfordview, the Melville Koppies and the Kromdraai Conservancy in the West Rand are just a few examples.