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Johannesburg
Wildlife

IIt’s so close to Joburg you can see the city skyline from some vantage points. But you’re still in the wild—with over 200 species of birds, big game animals and predators, the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is a botanically rich destination for eco-tourists, hikers and school children.

Named after the indigenous sugarcane and later the Transvaal suikerbos (or sugarbush, the Protea caffra), found on the sandstone ridges, the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is made up of different biomes, including Bankenveld grassland, fynbos ridges, gorges and acacia woodland.

Did You Know?
TTree enthusiasts will note the presence of the white stinkwood (Celtis africana), Highveld cabbage tree (Cussonia paniculata), ouhout (Leucosidea sericea), sweet thorn (Acacia karroo), and the common guarri (Euclea undulata).

WWith over 11 500 hectares, there are a number of winding hiking trails to choose from. Day visitors can hike the 17km or 10km Bokmakierie Trail or opt for the 4km Cheetah Trail. For hikers wishing to tackle longer routes, there are four overnight huts. Cyclists and motorists can choose to take the 60km tourist route.

While en route, you might spot zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest and mountain reedbuck. If you’re there at the right time, you might even see the brown hyena. Nature enthusiasts will notice white stinkwood, the Highveld cabbage tree, ouhout and sweet thorn.

IIt’s super important that you don’t litter. Not only is it bad for the natural environment, it’s also bad for the animals. In the last few years, antelope in particular have died from eating the gel packets that cyclists drop while riding through the reserve.

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"South Africa’s a very special country from coast to mountain. Cape Town itself is just an incredibly beautiful place also an incredibly diverse place, you have Table Mountain, you have indigenous forest and then you have this wealth marine life where you can see orcas and seals and penguins and whales and dolphins all on the same day and octopuses, massive invertebrate bio-diversity. I think, Cape Town is one of the most important bio-diversity hotspots on the planet and it’s also home to a huge community of endemic species and endemics are animals that you only find in that specific place and then when we talk specifically about the Great African sea forest, which is, the beautiful home of The Octopus Teacher. The thing about kelp forests is they cover 25% of the world’s coastlines, they are critical eco systems, they absorb carbon, they protect coastlines from storms and swell which is very important at this time because of rising sea levels and then they are just home to this unbelievable community of animals. They have some of the most bio-diverse habitats on Earth but, what’s happening, all over the world, because of climate change, is they are incredibly fragile. What’s incredible about the Greta African sea forest is the habitat is thriving, you know, it’s a very extensive kelp forest. It runs from De Hoop in the east all the way up the west coast to Namibia in the west and it’s healthy and the structure is there and although, you know, it’s not pristine but because the habitat is thriving the way that it is it really could be and you put your heard under the water there and you will see things that you never dreamed were possible and you’ll look up and there will be light playing through the forest and light rays shining down on you, and, it’s a dreamlike experience. It’s like being in a painting". Film Director, Pippa Ehrlich. We congratulate Netflix’s #MyOctopusTeacher​ for winning at The Oscars. The incredibly beautiful story of one of South Africa’s magical marine life and biodiversity, #MyOctopusTeacher​ was nominated for an Oscar award under the Documentary Feature category. Set in a kelp forest in #FalseBay​, #CapeTown​, South Africa, we say #MyOctopusTeacher​ definitely deserves the Oscar! #ShareSouthAfrica

We didn’t choose a location for this film because we never knew it was going to be a film, this is just what Craig does and what the C-Change project does, we live in Cape Town so we dive in Cape Town. And there are incredible dive sites all over the city, right on our doorstep and the incredible power of this film in some ways, and the joy of it from a filmmaking point of view is that, most natural history shoots you get flown off to some exotic location and then you’re under incredible pressure to get everything you need in three weeks. When you live and work in your home, you can be very picky about exactly the shot that you want. You know, you can wait for the best visibility, you can wait for the scariest storm. And the most amazing part of all of it is you go and dive, and you have these mind blowing experiences and you hold that feeling in your heart, and then you sit down straight afterwards and go back to the edit suite like this magical process of alchemy where it just pours into the film that you’re creating, so this was a once in a lifetime filmmaking process. It’s certainly changed my life." Film Director, Pippa Ehrlich. A showcase of South Africa’s beautiful biodiversity hotspot in a Western Cape kelp forest of #FalseBay​, Netflix's #MyOctopusTeacher​ has won an Oscar award under the Documentary Feature category. Good luck to the team for the brilliant story of a once-in-a-lifetime encounter in one of the most exquisitely beautiful environments on earth 🐙 #ShareSouthAfrica​ #CapeTown​ #FalseBay Learn more about the destination on www.southafrica.net

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