Hiking, biking and walking are pursuits perfectly suited to the expansive Magaliesberg mountains. Add pristine mountain pools, endemic animals, ancient rock formations and leafy overhead canopies, and you begin to get an idea why Mountain Sanctuary Park is considered a perennial favourite.

Did you know?

The Magaliesberg mountains are estimated to be 100 times older than Mount Everest.

The Mountain Sanctuary Park is a privately owned nature reserve tucked away amid the peace and quiet of the ancient Magaliesberg mountains.

Magnificent rock formations millions of years old have given rise to pristine rock pools flanked by indigenous vegetation, creating an Eden that’s conducive to shrugging off the grime of city life.

The rocky terrain is pure mountain-bike heaven, with routes suited to all abilities. Barnardsvlei Road suits novices, while the physically demanding Breedt's Neck Mountain Pass will test the mettle of experts. A demanding 12km trail also forms part of the annual Magalies Monster bike race.

Hiking is also a favourite pastime, with trails that range from 15 minutes to eight hours traversing more than 1000 hectares of countryside.

After a hard day’s hiking and biking, flop into the swimming pool set in a deck overlooking a picturesque valley. Then, when you’re cool and relaxed, throw some traditional South African boerewors (spiced sausage) on the braai (barbeque), as the locals do.

Relaxing with a book under a shady tree is the best way to absorb the peace and tranquillity that has become the hallmark of the Mountain Sanctuary Park. If you’re very quiet, you might be lucky enough to spot endemic fauna such as klipspringers, monkeys, jackals, warthogs and an amazing array of birds and butterflies.

Come for the day – but be warned, it’s addictive, so rather set aside a weekend if you can.

For those with a head for heights, a number of abseiling sites are available, but guides and gear are required. Traditional rock climbing may also be enjoyed at designated points in the sanctuary.

One happy visitor summed up the Mountain Sanctuary Park experience this way: 'If you can't relax here, you need medical attention!'

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