Groenkloof Nature Reserve

Groenkloof Nature Reserve

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In the 1820’s Mzilikazi arrived in this beautiful valley, by which time the baKwenas had already driven the San people out. He stayed at Meintjieskop while his impis built two of his cities in the area. The women used to fetch water from the Apiesriver and called it Enzwabuhlungu. This means “something that hurts” which refers to the sharp dolomite rock that used to hurt their feet. The Sotho name is Entsabohloko and refers to the circumcision rites where the young men of the tribe used to stand in the water during the ceremony.

On 25 February 1895 President Paul Kruger proclaimed the valley on the southern outskirts of Pretoria as a game sanctuary – this was the first game sanctuary on the African continent. Its main purpose was to protect the large herds of animal on the outskirts of town from hunters who were responsible for their demise as well as protection for the shy and timid Oribi which occurred here.

In 1910 portions of the area were rented out for the establishment of commercial wood plantations because of the wood and paper shortages due to the world wars. By the late 1950’s the City Council of Pretoria became the owner of the area. In 1994 the reserve became the responsibility of the Department of Nature Conservation and preparation started for the re-release of game. 1999 was the year wherein impala, kudu, blue wildebeest and ostrich were re-introduced on to the reserve and 2002 saw the release of giraffe and red hartebeest.

Groenkloof Nature Reserve offers a lot of different activities for nature lovers just 5 km out of the city centre.

– Hiking trails:4.0 km hike ( White trail)- 3.5 km hike (Red trail)- 10.5 km hike (Yellow trail)
– Mountain bike trail: ± 20 km route. Helmets are compulsory. No helmet, no ride.
– Motorcar route: ± 6 km (interpretation route)
– 4×4 route: ± 14 km (interpretation route )
– Picnic area: exclusively to relax after one of the trails. (Please bring own braaiwood)

Overnight facilities are available for hiking, 4×4 route and mountain biking. A youth camp is available for youth groups up to 30 persons.

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