Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Gauteng

You are only moments away

Adventure
Attractions
Animals
Routes
Johannesburg
Pretoria
Wildlife

HHave the perfect picnic, enjoy some cycling and horseback riding, or view wildlife while you explore the Rietvlei Nature Reserve—a natural haven of a dam surrounded by grassland and wooded savannah.

A stone’s throw away from South Africa’s capital, the city of Pretoria in Tshwane Municipality, makes it a popular day trip. Rietvlei is affectionately known as a “haven of nature” by the locals.

Home to the endangered Bankenveld grassland and around 2000 different animals, it is the perfect game-viewing day trip. See rhinos, buffalo, black wildebeest, blesbok, zebras, waterbuck, reedbuck and oribi, and if you are lucky the elusive cheetah.

Did You Know?
WWhile the Rietvlei dam was dug by hand in the 1930s, the nature reserve was only created, proclaimed and opened to the public in 1948 when game was introduced by the then Pretoria City Council.

IIt is also home to around 240 different bird species, in particular those who have aquatic elements in their ecosystems. Do look out for African fish eagles, half-collared and giant kingfishers, and purple gallinules. You’ll also find grassland specials like the grass owl, spike-heeled lark, buffy pipit and orange-throated longclaw. Two dams on the reserve offer bird hides, which provide open-water and wetland habitats.

IIf you prefer something more active, try cycling, angling, and wonderful walks. Freshwater fishing for catfish, yellowfish, carp and tilapia is allowed at the northern and western shores. A variety of non-motorised water sports also operate from the yacht club, on the north-western shore.

Horse rides range from a 30-minute ride from the coffee shop, to guided one and two day horse trails, which can be arranged. One and two day guided hiking trips can also be arranged. An overnight option is also available. For guided game drives you will need to provide your own vehicles and book in advance. 

History buffs should look out for a stone rampart, originally built by British troops during the South African War (Anglo-Boer War). This is also where they installed a cannon during the second occupation of Pretoria. Keep your eyes peeled for mule shoes. Mules were used to remove the soil when the dam was being built, and mule shoes are still found from time to time.

Rietvlei is named for the dam at its centre, which is the source of around 20% of Pretoria’s drinking water.

Who to contact
Best time to visit
Tours to do
Get around
What it will cost
Length of stay
Where to stay

Related articles

As the Royals head to South Africa…here are the best family experiences in Cape Town and beyond

As the Royals head to South Africa…here are the best family experiences in Cape Town and beyond

With no jetlag, a great year-round climate (particularly during school holidays), the strength of the pound against the South African Rand giving families fantastic value for money and an incredible abundance of nature and wildlife, South Africa is an ideal destination for families. To mark the royal visit, here are some of the top family activities in Cape Town and beyond.

10 great restaurants in South Africa

10 great restaurants in South Africa

South Africa’s streets, shores and vineyards are lined with so many incredible restaurants, it’s a hard task narrowing them down into a short bucket list.

Gin: SA’s trendy drink

Gin: SA’s trendy drink

Gin is the buzzword on everyone’s lips in Cape Town at the moment.

The delight and complexity of South African architecture

The delight and complexity of South African architecture

If calamity were to strike humanity, and archaeologists of a distant future were to enquire about how we lived, they would draw upon our architecture to paint a picture of who we were.

Shisa nyama: the vibe, the food, the spirit (1)

Shisa nyama: the vibe, the food, the spirit (1)

South Africa is a country that’s diverse in its culture and language, and if there’s one thing that brings South Africans together it’s food.

Traditional African food in South Africa

Traditional African food in South Africa

The food story of South Africa.

The 10 best restaurants in Joburg

The 10 best restaurants in Joburg

Just like the city itself, the dining scene in Jozi is constantly changing.

Shisa nyama: the vibe, the food, the spirit

Shisa nyama: the vibe, the food, the spirit

South Africa is a country that’s diverse in its culture and language, and if there’s one thing that brings South Africans together it’s food.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2019 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy