Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is one of Gauteng’s premier ecotourism destinations. Set just a short distance from Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

, an hour's drive from Johannesburg International Airport and near the historical town of Heidelberg
Heidelberg, Gauteng
Heidelberg is a town with 70,707 inhabitants in the Gauteng province of South Africa at the foot of the Suikerbosrand next to the N3 highway, which connects Johannesburg and Durban.- History :...

, this reserve boasts a representative sample of the fauna and flora of the Rocky Highveld Grassland biome. With 134 km² of unspoiled natural environment and a mountain range characterised by meandering twists and turns of hiking trails, the reserve offers an unbelievably refreshing break from the bustling city life. Here, the altitude varies between 1,545 and 1,917m above sea level.

The ridge was originally named after sugar cane (probably sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

) found growing here by the party of general Hendrik Potgieter
Andries Hendrik Potgieter
Andries Hendrik Potgieter, known as Hendrik Potgieter was a Voortrekker leader. He served as the first head of state of Potchefstroom from 1840 and 1845 and also as the first head of state of Zoutpansberg from 1845 to 1852.Potgieter was born in the Tarkastad district of the Cape Colony, the second...

 on 5 June 1836. Later the ridge and consequently the reserve's name became associated with the characteristic Transvaal-Sugar bush
Protea caffra
Protea caffra is a small tree or shrub which occurs in open or wooded grassland usually on rocky ridges. Its leaves are leathery and hairless. The flower head is solitary or in clusters of 3 or 4 with the involucral bracts a pale red, pink or cream colour. The fruit is a densely hairy nut...

 (Protea caffra), a dominant vegetation type within the area's limits.


Recent land acquisitions have seen the reserve almost double in it size. A huge challenge for the reserve's management is to include the newly acquired lands in the reserve without disturbing the balance within the original area. The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is managed by the Gauteng province's Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...



Over 200 bird species have been identified in the reserve. For the game enthusiast, the reserve also offers a large range of mammal species including:
  • Aardvark
    The aardvark is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa...

  • Aardwolf
    The aardwolf is a small, insectivorous mammal, native to Eastern and Southern Africa. The name means "earth wolf" in Afrikaans/Dutch. It is also called "maanhaar jackal". It is related to hyenas, but unlike its relatives, it does not hunt large prey. This unusual animal preys on insects...

  • Black-backed Jackal
    Black-backed Jackal
    The black-backed jackal , also known as the silver-backed or red jackal, is a species of jackal which inhabits two areas of the African continent separated by roughly 900 km. One region includes the southern-most tip of the continent, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe...

  • Black Wildebeest
    Black Wildebeest
    The Black Wildebeest or White-tailed Gnu is one of two wildebeest species. The natural populations of this species, endemic to the southern part of Africa, have been almost completely exterminated, but the species has been reintroduced widely, both in private areas and nature reserves throughout...

  • Blesbok
    The Blesbok or Blesbuck is an antelope with a distinctive white face and forehead. Its white face is the origin of its name, because bles is the Afrikaans word for bald...

  • Brown Hyena
    Brown Hyena
    The brown hyena is a species of hyena which occurs in Namibia, Botswana, western and southern Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique and South Africa. It is currently the rarest hyena.-Description:...

  • Cape Fox
    Cape Fox
    The Cape fox , also called the cama fox or the silver-backed fox, is a small fox.It has black or silver gray fur with flanks and underside in light yellow. The tip of its tail is always black....

  • Chacma Baboon
    Chacma Baboon
    The Chacma baboon , also known as the Cape baboon, is, like all other baboons, from the Old World monkey family. With a body length of up to 115 cm and a weight from 15 to 31 kg, it is among the largest and heaviest baboon species. The Chacma is generally dark brown to gray in color,...

  • Common Duiker
    Common Duiker
    The Common Duiker, Sylvicapra grimmia, also known as the Grey or Bush Duiker, is a small antelope with small horns found in west, central, east, and southern Africa- essentially everywhere in Africa south of the Sahara, excluding the horn of Africa and the rainforests of the central and western...

  • Common Eland
    Common Eland
    The common eland , also known as the southern eland or eland antelope, is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. It is the largest antelope in the African continent...

  • Common Reedbuck
  • Grey Rhebuck
  • Kudu
    The kudus are two species of antelope of the genus Tragelaphus:*Lesser Kudu, Tragelaphus imberbis*Greater Kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros- Etymology :...

  • Mountain Reedbuck
    Mountain Reedbuck
    The Mountain Reedbuck is an antelope found in mountainous areas of much of Sub-Saharan Africa.The Mountain Reedbuck averages 75 cm at the shoulder, and weighs around 30 kg. It has a grey coat with a white underbelly and reddish-brown head and shoulders...

  • Oribi
    Oribi are graceful slender-legged, long-necked small antelope found in grassland almost throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.-Description:...

  • Porcupine
    Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend or camouflage them from predators. They are indigenous to the Americas, southern Asia, and Africa. Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and the beaver. Most porcupines are about long, with...

  • Red Hartebeest
    Red Hartebeest
    The Red Hartebeest is a species of even-toed ungulate in the Bovidae family. It is found in Southern Africa. There are more than 130,000 individuals left. The Red Hartebeest is closely related to the Tsessebe and the Topi....

  • Small-spotted Genet
  • Springbok
    Springbok Antelope
    The springbok is a medium-sized brown and white gazelle that stands about high. Springbok males weigh between and the females between...

  • Steenbok
    The Steenbok, Raphicerus campestris, is a common small antelope of southern and eastern Africa. It is sometimes known as the Steinbuck or Steinbok.- Description :...

  • Zebra
    Zebras are several species of African equids united by their distinctive black and white stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds...

  • Cycling and Mountainbiking

    The reserve is popular amongst mountain bike
    Mountain bike
    A mountain bike or mountain bicycle is a bicycle created for off-road cycling. This activity includes traversing of rocks and washouts, and steep declines,...

    rs and road cyclists for its quiet roads and trails, beautiful scenery, brutally steep climbs, and fast twisting descents.


    The reserve includes a Visitors' Centre and the Diepkloof Farm Museum. The reserve can be explored on foot using several of the day and overnight hiking trails. The overnight hiking trails are especially recommended.

    Holiday Resort

    A holiday resort
    A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

     for day visitors and overnight campers is situated within the nature reserve. (It was previously known as Kareekloof)

    Accommodation is in the form of chalet
    A chalet , also called Swiss chalet, is a type of building or house, native to the Alpine region, made of wood, with a heavy, gently sloping roof with wide, well-supported eaves set at right angles to the front of the house.-Definition and origin:...

    s, caravan
    Travel trailer
    A travel trailer or caravan is towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep which is more comfortable and protected than a tent . It provides the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation, without relying on a motel or hotel, and enables them to stay in places...

    (some with 240V power) and tent sites

    Features include
    • Large outdoor pool
    • Shallow children's pool
    • Indoor heated pool
    • 2 Water slides

    External links

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