9 Best Hiking Trails in Johannesburg for a Fun Day

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Hiking is the kind of sport that is enjoyed by people all across the year. However, about unforeseen weather changes, it is always better to plan your hike around the most weather-favoured months to have the most exquisite experience. In the case of Johannesburg, spring and autumn, i.e. during March-May and September to November, are the ideal months to go for a fun hike. During these months of the year, the temperatures aren't extreme, i.e. neither too hot nor too cold. Also, the regular summertime precipitation is much lower during these months, making your hiking safer and more enjoyable. These months are lightly warm and breezy, filling you with energy, and it is also the time when you can spot most of the exotic species of flora and fauna across the trials.

Here is the list of 9 hiking trails in Johannesburg:

1. Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Bewitching its visitors with an enchanting waterfall and green gardens, Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens is one of the prettiest hiking trails in Johannesburg. One can opt for some short trails crossing the gardens or go for the longest trial, a steep, 2.1-mile trail that ends at the top of What the Witpoortjie Waterfall for a breathtaking view. Additionally, the trails are dog-friendly too! 
Address: Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort, 1724, South Africa
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Entrance Fee: R65.00 per adult

2. Uitkyk Trail

Uitkyk Trail in Johannesburg
One of the most elaborate and seemingly challenging hiking trails of a whopping 5.2 miles, the Uitkyk trail screams amazing views of the Hartbeespoort Dam. One must keep in hand at least five hours to set on this heart-pumping trail. Although the trail is not recommended for beginners, it is crowded year-round. Hence prior bookings are a must! If this doesn't sound convincing enough to give this trail a try, it also witnesses the Magaliesberg Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site holding a one-million-year track record of human history.
Address: Off R513 Below, Hartbeespoort Dam, Hartbeespoort, 0162, South Africa 
Entry Fee: R85.00 per adult

3. Kings Kloof Trails

Kings Kloofs Trails Johannesburg
Situated close to the famous Sterkfontein Caves towards the northwest of Johannesburg, Mulderdrift's Laurentia Farm has remarkable trails ranging from 3.7 miles of the famous Green Trail to the massive 16.7-mile Red Trail. Hikers on this trail often come across the abundance of herds of cattle and small wild species the trails are blessed with, as well as enjoy the hilly terrains, a wooded river valley, and five well-marked Kings Kloof Trails for hiking, biking, or trail running.
Address: Kings Kloof Trails, Muldersdrift, 1794, South Africa
Timings: 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Entry Fee: R40 per adult and R20 per child( over fours years of age )

4. Kloofendal Nature Reserve

Hiking in Johannesburg
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This trail in is one of a kind and hence a must-visit for any hiker in Joburg. It's deeply rooted in the history of Johannesburg and has historical symbolism as it possesses the great Confidence Reef. The reserve encompasses four different trails, something to suit everyone's level, from 0.3-mile Wetland Trail, which is an easy one, to the 2-mile Rocky Ridge Trail, a challenging one! It's a definite delight for nature lovers as one can spot reedbucks, duiker, dassies and other small species of mammals. Head to the reserve on weekends and take advantage of the guided butterfly, birding and geology walk. 
Address: Veronica St, Kloofendal, Roodepoort, 1709, South Africa
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: Free

5. Modderfontein Reserve

Waterfall at Modderfontein Reserve in Johannesburg
Offering a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, this reserve, located 19 miles to the northeast of Joburg, is a treasure of green luxuriance that inflates your lungs with freshness and calm as you wander across the majestic dams, beautiful grasslands, hills and streams of Spruit river. Head alone or with family and pick the trail that suits you the best from the six ones the reserve has to offer, right from the 1.3-mile Guinea Fowl Trail to the 2.4-mile Dabchick Trail.
Address: Arden Road, Off Ardeer Rd, Modderfontein, Lethabong, 1609, South Africa
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: R35 per adult, R20 per child

6. Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge

Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Reserve Johannesburg
If you fancy hiking or cycling across longer miles than usual and letting that adrenaline rush to your veins, then Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge is your best bet! Situated at the bottom of Zwartkop Mountain, visitors can enjoy beautiful sunsets here, which is one of the USPs of the place and makes it a well-admired day trip spot in Johannesburg, especially among hikers. It offers colossal trails, 30 plus miles for hiking, uphill running and cycling. A large range of trials is available, comprising the Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red Trails, set in the lush beauty of the reserve's central lake and waterfall, ranging between 5 – 8.3 miles. Additional tip – keep an eye out for zebras, springboks, wildebeest and hippos!
Address: Plot 59 Beyers Naude Drive, Muldersdrift, 2024, South Africa
Timings: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM( check-in )
                    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM( check-out )
Entry Fee: R50 ( additional R20 for hiking )

7. Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

Hiking in Johannesburg
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This reserve is extremely famous among hikers having different levels of hiking experience as it offers something for everyone with its gigantic 12 miles of cross-linked trails, out of which the Dassie Trail is an extreme one offering amazing city views from the top and is a challenging route to pick, recommended for hikers with some experience at least. In contrast, the Bloubas Trail is comparatively levelled, and the uniform trail winds around the sparkling Bloubos Spruit River.
Address: 129 Peggy Vera Rd, Kibler Park, Johannesburg South, 2091, South Africa
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: Free

8. Delta Park via Braamfontein Spruit Trail 

Hiking in Johannesburg
Representational Image
If you're looking for something more than just smooth trails to add to your hiking experience, then you should definitely add Delta Park to your list. Its highlight is the "sensory trail" that it offers other than the common walking and cycling trails. If you're fond of bird watching, you'll be pleased to find several hides squeaking with colourful species of birds. The trails are moderately challenging and dog-friendly! 
Address: 77 Craighall Rd, Victory Park, Randburg, 2195, South Africa
Timings: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: Free

9. Thaba Orange Trails

Zebras at Thaba Trails in Johannesburg
One of the most well-guided hiking trails of Johannesburg, often known as the "Jewel of the South", the Thaba trails spread across 8.2 miles of hilly, green land and are a must-visit for mountain bikers as well as trail runners. One of the biggest advantages of choosing this trail is that they are colour-coded, indicating different experience levels, which makes it very beginner friendly as well. The perfect inclination of the trails is best suited for mountain running and biking, making it moderately challenging, and who doesn't love a little challenge on a hike?
Address: 101 Kliprivier Dr, Mulbarton, Johannesburg, 2053, South Africa
Entry Fee: Free

 Hiking Tips

  • Be conscious of the direction when hiking. Carry a map, compass or GPS for a smooth hiking experience.
  • Carry only necessary items and do not bulk up. Nothing's more annoying than having to lift heavy bags along your trail.
  • If you're a beginner, start small. Choose a trail that suits your experience and fitness level, and you can gradually build up your resilience for more challenging trials.
  • To avoid sprains and straining of your muscles after a long and hearty trail, give yourself ten minutes of good stretch before you head on to the top!
  • Keep in mind to check the weather forecast even on the day of the trail and be flexible enough to mould your hiking plans accordingly to avoid any chaos or mishaps.
  • Carry enough water with you and stay well-hydrated throughout the trail.
  • Keep some filling and protein-rich snacks handy such as trail mix, granola bars, nuts and seeds, bananas, whole-wheat bread, etc.
  • Your clothing should be appropriate. Always dress in layers, so it is easy to accommodate in case the weather changes. Also, wear lighter colours and comfortable fitted clothes.
  • Snuggly-fitting lace boots or hikers shoes will be your best bet to keep your feet comfortable and blister-free!
  • Carry a rain cover to avoid getting soaked.
  • A handy safety cum first-aid kit is a must that can include bug sprays, sunblocks, band-aids, sanitiser, antiseptic creams, masks, tapes, cotton balls, torch, pocket knife, whistle, etc., to keep you well-prepared for any situation. 

This post was published by Muskan Jaggi

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