Five more brilliant day hikes to do in Gauteng to ease the strain of lockdown

17 July 2020 - 13:39 By Sanet Oberholzer
Escape the house and immerse yourself in nature with a day hike.
Escape the house and immerse yourself in nature with a day hike.
Image: 123RF/mihtiander

After weeks spent indoors, even those people who aren't typically avid hikers are dusting off their tekkies, eager to immerse themselves in the great outdoors again.

While leisure travel remains restricted under level 3 of the lockdown, we are allowed to go on walks and hikes in our own provinces. Some parks and reserves remain closed, but there are many outdoor spaces that are ready to welcome day visitors.

We previously highlighted nine of these, here are a few more:

1. HUDDLE PARK

This property in Linksfield has opened its nature trails for cyclists, walkers and runners. It's open Tuesdays to Sundays from 6.30am to 5.30pm and Mondays from 10am to 5pm. Dogs are welcome, but need to be kept on a leash.

The golf course and restaurant are also open.

Pre-bookings are not required and day passes can be purchased from the pro shop.

Costs: R50 for adults and R30 for children under 12. Dogs enter for free, as do people with a membership card. See huddlepark.com

2. OLIVE TREE FARM

Olive Tree Farm is a self-catering guest farm and B&B in the Magaliesberg, about an hour's drive from Joburg. Day visitors can enjoy walks and hikes on the 250ha property seven days a week, from 7am-4pm in winter. They will take a maximum of 20 people a day, so booking is essential.

The property has three trails, 2km, 3km and you can combine them for a longer walk.

Day visitors can bring their own picnic baskets or pre-order lunch - burger, chips and salad for R100 or kiddies' meals for R50 - from the B&B's kitchen.

Costs: Entrance is R75 for adults and R30 for under 18s. See olivetreefarm.co.za or e-mail info@olivetreefarm.co.za

3. NORTHERN FARM

Also known as the Diepsloot Nature Reserve, this is a 10-minute drive from Fourways. They operate strictly via an online booking system to control the number of people allowed into the reserve. Once you have made an online booking, your name is placed on a list at the gate.

They cater primarily for mountain bikers and equestrian riders, but hikers can follow the marked routes throughout the 25,000ha private reserve. They are open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 7am to 5pm.

Cost: R60 per person (pp). See northernfarm.org.za

4. GROENKLOOF NATURE RESERVE

The Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria is open for hikes and day drives every day between 7am and 5pm. They only allow 100 people at a time for hikes and 50 people for self-drives. No pre-booking is necessary as it's first-come, first-served.

They have three hiking trails: the 3.5km red trail, 3.7km white trail and 10.5km yellow trail.

Costs: R45 for adults, R30 for children aged 7-17 and R15 for under 7s. Phone 012-358-1757.

5. HOBBY PARK

Hobby Park in Krugersdorp is open to hikers from Wednesdays to Sundays from 7am to 5pm. They allow only 50 people to enter at a time and it's first-come, first-served.

The most popular is the 10km hike; they also have a 6km and 14km hike.

Costs: R50 for adults and R30 for children under 16. See hobbypark.co.za

This article is adapted from one originally published in the Sowetan newspaper. Visit sowetanlive.co.za