Walk in the wilderness near to Johannesburg
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
Near Johannesburg in South Africa’s Gauteng Province lies Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. Among its dramatic gorges, grasslands and kloofs are many game species, including predators and 100s of birds. Explore it by foot, wheelchair or vehicle.
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
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Did you know?
Spot the skyline of JohannesburgFrom certain ridges along this nature reserve, .
Just a short drive from Johannesburg, the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve offers a delightful wilderness experience away from the bustle of the city.
This 13 337ha reserve plays a crucial role in environmental education, resource management and outdoor recreation with its winding hiking trails and variety of natural habitats. It is named after the Transvaal suikerbos, or sugarbush, which is found all over the reserve along with Sweet Thorn trees, wild Sweet Peas, proteas, White Stinkhout trees and Orange River lilies.
As you walk or ride, keep your eyes open for the wide range of animals and birds that inhabit the grassy plains and rocky gorges of the dramatic landscape in this Johannesburg nature reserve. The reserve also offers a Paraplegic Trail for visitors in wheelchairs.
If you want to get active then follow any one of the great networks of hiking trails that meander through this nature reserve near Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.
You will very probably spot zebra, kudu, oribi, eland, springbok and baboon, and if you’re very lucky, cheetah and hyena. And have those binoculars ready for the many species of birds.
If you don’t fancy walking or a cycle ride but prefer to stay in your vehicle, then there’s a 60km game viewing route that winds past various picnic areas and through the different habitats.
Get your bearings first by watching the films and slide shows at the Diepkloof information centre in the northern part of the reserve.
Although the scenic Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve administered by the Gauteng department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs is on the doorstep of the most populated city in South Africa, it manages to retain its wilderness identity and offers a tranquil and lovely escape from the busy metropolis.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
The nature reserve is well signposted. From Johannesburg, follow the N3 to Heidelburg, exit at the R23 and turn right (south). Suikerbosrand is on the right.
Around the area
Nearby Heidelberg has historic buildings of interest, and a Transport Museum that's worth visiting.
Tours to do
A self-drive 60km loop of the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve.
The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve can be explored either by foot, mountain bike or vehicle on self-guided and formal tours.
Length of stay
A half to full day is enough, but longer stays are also possible
What to pack
If staying overnight you'll need to be self-sufficient and bring your own cooking utensils, food, bedding and wood or charcoal. Day and overnight visitors pack hiking boots, binoculars, water, and a camera.
Where to stay
A network of 66km of backpacking trails have been established and overnight huts are available on the reserve. There are also simply furnished meditation huts. Alternately stay at the Protea Hotel adjacent to the reserve, or a B&B in nearby Heidelberg.
What to eat
Bring your own picnic, or if you're staying overnight cater for all your meals whilst in the reserve.