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Top 15 Hiking Trails in Johannesburg for Adventure Lovers

Top 15 Hiking Trails in Johannesburg for Adventure Lovers

Did you know that Johannesburg is a green paradise with more trees than most cities in the world?

If you love hiking, you are in luck, because there are many trails to explore in and around this vibrant metropolis. Whether you prefer grassland, savanna, or forest, you will find a hike that suits your taste and fitness level.

Discover some of the best hiking trails in and around Johannesburg, and why you should try them out. 

Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

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Address: Corner Judith and Orange roads, Emmarentia, Johannesburg

Phone: +27 11 482 4797 or 079 532 0083   

Melville Koppies is a nature reserve and heritage site with ancient archaeological remains and stunning views of the city.

It preserves the original landscape of Johannesburg before gold mining transformed it. It also showcases the diversity of highveld flora, including Acacia robusta, mountain silver-oak, and blue guarrie.

You can hike there every day from dawn to dusk and enjoy the scenery. The trail is about 1 km long, easy for kids and adults, and free of charge. 

Pro Tip:
The best way to explore the amazing wildlife and landscapes of this reserve is to join a Sunday morning guided hike. You can choose between a 4-km walk or a 10-km challenge and learn about the fascinating flora and rocks along the way.

Thaba Trails


Address: 101 Kliprivier Dr, Mulbarton, Johannesburg, 2053, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 867 8047

Thaba Trails, also called the Jewel of the South, offer a wonderful hiking experience. Whether you’re a mountain biker or a trail runner, you’ll find a trail that suits your skill level among the 8.2 miles of scenic, hilly terrain.

Trails are color-coded based on difficulty and length. The yellow route is for beginners, orange is for intermediates, green requires moderate fitness, and blue is a challenging ride for experienced cyclists. 

Pro Tip:
Avoid the Blue Route unless you’re a pro. It’s a rough ride with serious challenges and steep drops. 

Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

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Address: 129 Peggy Vera Rd, Kibler Park, Johannesburg South, 2091, South Africa

Phone: 011 9433578

Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, the biggest nature reserve in Joburg, is a beloved getaway spot in the city’s south. Hikers of all skill levels flock to this reserve for its 12 miles of interconnected trails, each offering a unique experience.

The reserve is also home to blesbok, zebra, and other wildlife that graze on the slopes of the Rock River mountain. It’s also a birdwatcher’s paradise boasting around 230  bird species like collared widowbird, cape robin, and ashy tit.

Pro Tips:
If you’re looking for a challenging hike with amazing city views, try the Dassie Trail. It’s not for beginners, though, so be prepared.For a more relaxing walk, the Bloubas Trail is a great option. 

Delta Park via Braamfontein Spruit Trail

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Address: 77 Craighall Rd, Victory Park, Randburg, 2195, South Africa

Delta Park is a great destination for adventurous hikers who want more than just smooth trails. You can enjoy the unique sensory trail that stimulates your senses or watch the colourful birds from the hides. 

This loop trail is 8.9 km long and takes about 2 hours and 25 minutes to finish. It’s a popular spot for mountain biking, running, and walking, so you can meet other outdoor enthusiasts along the way.

Pro Tip:
The most ideal months to explore this trail are from December to October. This is because you can enjoy the scenic views of the river, the birdlife, and the greenery without worrying about the summer heat or the winter cold.

Ndofaya Hiking Trail

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Address: 44B Ordendaal Road, Johannesburg

The Soweto’s Ndofaya Trail is a popular attraction for hikers of all levels. You can enjoy the scenic views of the Main Reef Mines’ golden dunes on this easy and fun guided hike.

The hike starts in Meadowlands, Soweto, and takes you through a 6.5-km loop that passes by the Fleurhof dam and the old gold mine dumps, reaching part of Roodepoort. 

Pro Tip:
After the hike, you can relax and enjoy delicious ice cream at The Soweto Creamery, just a 15-minute drive from the trail. This place offers a variety of flavours, from classic vanilla and chocolate to exotic ones like baobab and marula. 

Modderfontein Nature Reserve


Address: Arden Road, Off Ardeer Rd, Modderfontein, Lethabong, 1609, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 26-minute drive

Phone: +27 81 351 1223

Modderfontein Nature Reserve is a tranquil oasis that was once the site of a dynamite factory. Now, it’s a haven for nature lovers who can enjoy hiking, cycling, and exploring the diverse landscapes of the 275-hectare reserve.

The reserve boasts dams, natural springs, hills, and grasslands as well as a variety of wildlife such as antelopes and jackals. It also offers six trails of different levels of difficulty, from the 1.3-mile Guinea Fowl Trail to the 40-km mountain bike route. 

Pro Tip:
On weekends, you can also visit the Fourways Farmers Market that’s hosted on the reserve grounds. You’ll find fresh produce, delicious food, live music, and more at this vibrant and eco-friendly market.

Kloofendal Nature Reserve

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Address: Veronica St, Kloofendal, Roodepoort, 1709, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 30-minute drive

Phone: +27 11 712 6600

Kloofendal Nature Reserve is home to the historic Confidence Reef, where gold was first discovered in Johannesburg.

Depending on your preference and skill level, there are four trails of different lengths and difficulties to choose from. The easiest one is the 0.3-mile Wetland Trail, while the most challenging one is the 2-mile Rocky Ridge Trail. 

Along the way, you can admire the scenic views and the wildlife, such as reedbucks, duikers, and dassies.

Pro Tip:
Visit Kloofendal Nature Reserve on weekends. You can join the guided tours and learn more about the amazing butterflies, birds, and rocks that live there.

Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

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Address: Heidelberg Road, R550 off the N3, Nigel

Distance from Johannesburg: 33-minute drive

Phone: +27 11 439 6300

Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is a 19,000-hectare archaeological treasure and a haven for nature lovers. It lies on the southern edge of Gauteng and contains the ruins of an ancient Tswana city that was uncovered in 2018.

The reserve is named after the sugarbush (suikerbos) that grows on the mountains.

You can explore the scenic Suikerbosrand Mountain Range on foot or by bike, following trails that vary in length and difficulty. Along the way, you can enjoy the views of dams, bird hides, and diverse wildlife.

Pro Tip:
Enjoy spending a night or more at one of the cozy cottages in the reserve. The cottages are situated in various locations within the reserve, such as the Diepkloof, Verlatenkloof, and Coot Corner. 

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

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Address: Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort, 1724, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 37-minute drive

Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is a stunning natural attraction that offers a variety of experiences for its visitors. The trails here are also dog-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along. 

One of the attractions of the garden is the stunning Witpoortjie Waterfall, where you can see black Verraux’s eagles gliding over the cliffs. The park also offers a variety of rare plants to discover, such as green milkweed locust and garden acraea. 

Pro Tip:
After exploring the beautiful Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, have a delicious lunch at the Eagle’s Fare restaurant. You can enjoy scenic views of the waterfall and birdlife while you savour your meal. 

Voortrekker Monument

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Address: Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof 358-Jr, Pretoria, 0027, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 43-minute drive

Voortrekker Monument partnered with Adventure Zone in 2020 to create new attractions in the reserve. They wanted to attract more visitors and make use of the vast natural area around the monument.

The new hiking trails are 3 km, 5 km, or 8 km long. The trails go up the hill where the monument is, then down to the grasslands, and then up again to the Schanskop Fort on another hill.

Pro Tip:
When heading to the monument, you can take the Gautrain from Johannesburg to Pretoria. The Gautrain is a fast and comfortable way to travel, and it will drop you off at the Pretoria Station where you can catch a bus or a taxi to the monument. 

Kings Kloof Trails


Address: Kings Kloof Trails, Muldersdrift, 1794, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 45-minute drive

Phone: +27 66 316 0952

Kings Kloof Trails are located on a beautiful farm near Muldersdrift, not far from Johannesburg. The trails are well-marked and maintained, and you can enjoy the company of cows, birds, and other wildlife along the way.

You can choose from six well-marked trails that range from 6 km to 27 km and explore the diverse landscapes of hills, valleys, fields, and forests. 

Pro Tip:
Don’t feel obliged to follow every loop on the trails since they are meant for trail runners who want to challenge themselves. You can skip some of the less scenic loops.

Faerie Glen Nature Reserve

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Address: January Masilela Dr, Faerie Glen, Pretoria, 0040, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 45-minute drive

Phone: +27 12 358 1510

Faerie Glen Nature Reserve is a beautiful oasis in the east of Pretoria where you can enjoy urban hiking and wildlife spotting. It has a variety of animals, from impala and zebra to mongooses and porcupines, and offers stunning views of the city.

You can explore the two different vegetation types in the valley: Gold Reef Mountain Bushveld and Marikana Thornveld.

There are three trails to suit different levels of fitness and experience: the easy Hadeda Trail (2.3 km), the moderate Acacia Trail (3.2 km), and the challenging Kiepersol Trail (4.2 km).

Pro Tip:
If you’re coming with a large group (more than 20 people), make sure to book ahead of time. You can pay the entrance fees when you get there.

Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge


Address: Plot 59 Beyers Naude Drive, Muldersdrift, 2024, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 50-minute drive

Phone: +27 11 919 5000

Cradle Moon, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cradle of Humankind, offers diverse activities and attractions suitable for all ages and fitness levels with over 30 km of trails.

You can explore the 160-hectare conservancy on foot, bike, or boat and enjoy the scenic views of the dam, the waterfall, and Zwartkop Mountain. You can also encounter wildlife such as hippos, water birds, and antelopes along the way.

Pro Tips:
The best route for hikers who want to enjoy nature is the 10-km trail around the Cradle Moon Dam. You can spot zebras, giraffes, and springbok along the way and admire the scenic views of the water. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also swim in the dam and follow the buoys for a 1-km challenge. The dam is close to the Cradle Moon reception, so you can easily find your way there.

Hennops Hiking Trail


Address: R511, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 50-minute drive

Phone: +27 82 825 9205

Hennops Hiking Trail, a natural gem in Gauteng province, is conveniently close to both Johannesburg and Pretoria. It offers three scenic trails that start from Hadeda Camp and follow the Hennops River before climbing up the mountains.

Along the way, hikers meet two suspension bridges, a cable car, and some historical sites, such as an underground cave, old settlements, and dolomite mines. 

The rich variety of indigenous trees and birds makes this trail a wonderful experience for nature lovers.

Pro Tip:
Start your journey early and pack plenty of water, food, and sunscreen. The routes have little shade and no water sources, so you’ll need to stay hydrated and protected from the sun.

De Wildt Adventure Trails

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Address: R513 Yellow board no. 78E Farm Schietfontein Portion 19 JQ437 Schietfontein, 0251, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 1-hour-and-10-minute drive

Phone: +27 82 777 9326

De Wildt Adventure Trails is a scenic hiking reserve that borders Hartbeespoort Dam and the Magaliesberg mountains. You can choose from various trails that cater to different abilities and preferences.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly hike, try the Kiepersol Trail or the Pensioners Trail. If you’re up for a challenge, take on the Groenklip Hiking Tour, which lasts six to eight hours and leads you to the top of the mountain via a waterfall. 

Pro Tip:
Get there early in the morning, just as the sun rises. You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views, and you’ll beat the heat that can make hiking challenging later in the day.

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