Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.

Difference between revisions of "Rietvlei Nature Reserve"

From Wikitravel
Africa : Southern Africa : South Africa : Gauteng : Tshwane : Rietvlei Nature Reserve
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Get out: typo)
(updated listing The wildlife reserve area)
(27 intermediate revisions by 20 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei01.jpg|thumb|300px|Entrance to Rietvlei Nature Reserve]]
+
[[Image:South_Africa-Rietvlei-Rhinos.jpg|thumb|300px|Rhinos in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve]]
'''Rievlei Nature Reserve''',[http://www.tshwane.gov.za/rietvlei_facilities.cfm] is a small reserve located in the [[Gauteng]] Province of [[South Africa]].
+
'''Rietvlei Nature Reserve''' [http://www.tshwane.gov.za/rietvlei_facilities.cfm] is a small reserve located in the [[Gauteng]] Province of [[South Africa]].
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
 
[[Image:Map-South_Africa-Tshwane-Reitvlei01.png|thumb|Map of the reserve.]]
 
[[Image:Map-South_Africa-Tshwane-Reitvlei01.png|thumb|Map of the reserve.]]
 
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei07.jpg|thumb|Rietvlei dam.]]
 
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei07.jpg|thumb|Rietvlei dam.]]
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei06.jpg|thumb|Bird sitting on an ant hill.]]
+
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei06.jpg|thumb|Rufous-naped Lark sitting on an ant hill.]]
 
Rietvlei (''Reed marsh'') has a size of 38 square kilometers and covered by 91km of roads. 40 km of these roads are open to the public (30km tarred and 10km dirt road) for self drive game viewing.
 
Rietvlei (''Reed marsh'') has a size of 38 square kilometers and covered by 91km of roads. 40 km of these roads are open to the public (30km tarred and 10km dirt road) for self drive game viewing.
 
The Rietvlei and Marais dams are located inside the reserve.  
 
The Rietvlei and Marais dams are located inside the reserve.  
  
 
The reserve consist of three main areas:
 
The reserve consist of three main areas:
* <listing name="The wildlife reserve area" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274">A picnic area with toilet and ''braai'' facilities is located at Marais dam, four birdwatching hides are situated throughout the reserve and open to anyone in the reserve. Two ''lapas'' can be rented for exclusive use.</listing>
+
* <listing name="The wildlife reserve area" alt="" address="rgewrgeger" directions="" phone="+27 (0)12 358 1811/2" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">sdfffweA picnic area with toilet and ''braai'' facilities is located at Marais dam, four birdwatching hides are situated throughout the reserve and open to anyone in the reserve. Two ''lapas'' can be rented for exclusive use.</listing>
* <listing name="Angling area" phone="+27 (0)12 345-3917">Offers camping and chalet accommodation.</listing>
+
* <listing name="Angling area" phone="+27 (0)12 358-1819">Offers camping and chalet accommodation.</listing>
* <listing name="Yacht Club" url="http://www.psc.org.za/" phone="+27 (0)12 345-3576" phoneextra="+27 (0)76 901-2690" email="psc@sailing.org.za">Operated by the Pretoria Sailing Club.</listing>
+
* <listing name="Yacht Club" url="http://www.psc.org.za/" phone="+27 (0)12 454-0637" phoneextra="+27 (0)82 488-9900" email="psc@sailing.org.za">Operated by the Pretoria Sailing Club.</listing>
  
The only boats allowed on the dams are those operated from the Yatch Club. Powerboats are totally forbidden as the noise disturbs the wildlife (''and human visitors trying to get away from the noise of the cities'').
+
The only boats allowed on the dams are those operated from the Yacht Club. Powerboats are totally forbidden as the noise disturbs the wildlife.
  
The reserve is generally not very busy (''sadly people in [[Gauteng]] tend to prefer spending their time in shopping malls rather than enjoy the outdoor on their doorstep''). You will often have a bird hide all to yourself and there are seldom anyone else around to make a noise and scare away the wildlife.
+
The reserve is generally not very busy. You will often have a bird hide all to yourself and there is seldom anyone else around to make noise and scare away the wildlife.
  
Summer is excellent for bird watching as many of the migrating species will also be found in the reserve, but the long lush grass may obscure some of the other wildlife, rhino may be especially difficult to spot. Some antelope species will still be easily visible due to their size and the fact that they graze along the hill sides.
+
Summer is excellent for bird watching as many of the migrating species will also be found in the reserve, but the long lush grass may obscure some of the other wildlife. Rhino may be especially difficult to spot. Some antelope species will still be easily visible due to their size and the fact that they graze along the hill sides.
  
The Rietvlei dam supplied about 15% of [[Tshwane]]'s water supply.  
+
The Rietvlei dam supplied about 5% of [[Tshwane]]'s water supply.  
  
 +
===Volunteers===
 +
 +
To be involved with a team of volunteers involved in many exciting tasks at Gauteng’s Rietvlei Nature Reserve, visit the web site of the Friends of Rietvlei: www.friendsofrietvlei.org
 
===History===
 
===History===
As part of the Rietvlei water scheme, the Rietvlei dam was build in 1934 on the Six Mile Spruit. The damn wall is a brick structure and was build completely by hand. Donkey carts were used to cart bricks onto site and remove any soil and other matrial that was no longer required. Many horse shoes  lost by these working donkeys can still be found in the hill behind the Yacht Club.  
+
The government baught Rietvlei on on 2 Sept 1929 as Rietvallei (Extent 1 ), from  DM Munro, in order to build the Rietvlei dam. As part of the Rietvlei water scheme, the Rietvlei dam was build in 1934 on the Six Mile Spruit. The dam wall is a earth structure and was build completely by hand. Donkey carts were used to cart soil onto site and remove any soil and other material that was no longer required. Many horse shoes  lost by these working donkeys can still be found in the hill behind the Yacht Club.  
  
In 1948 the city of [[Pretoria]], who owns the land, proclaimed the area a nature reserve.  
+
In 1948 the city of [[Pretoria]], which owns the land, proclaimed the area a nature reserve.  
  
 
===Landscape===
 
===Landscape===
Mostly open grassland covering low hills with indigenous tree in small groups. Rare for [[South Africa]], it also contains a peat wetland area.  
+
Mostly open grassland covering low hills with indigenous tree in small groups. Rare for [[South Africa]], it also contains a peat wetland area. An ancient lava stream runs north/south through the park.
An ancient lava stream runs north/south through the park.
+
  
 
The dams are fed by the Six Mile Spruit and four fountains on the reserve as well as one from an adjacent property.  
 
The dams are fed by the Six Mile Spruit and four fountains on the reserve as well as one from an adjacent property.  
  
 
===Flora and fauna===
 
===Flora and fauna===
The reserve has 272 bird and 530 plant species.  Buffalo, hippopotamus, brown hyena, black back jackel, zebra, ostrich, cheetah, rhinoceros, and a number of antelope species.
+
The reserve has 272 bird and 530 plant species.  Buffalo, hippopotamus, brown hyena, black back jackel, zebra, ostrich, cheetah, rhinoceros, and a number of antelope species. Lions can be seen with a game drive from the Coffee Shop in as seperatly fenced off area.
Antelope include eland, red hartebees, black wildebees, blesbok, springbok, reedbuck, waterbuck, steenbok, duiker and oribi.
+
Antelope include eland, red hartebees, black wildebees, blesbok, springbok, reedbuck, waterbuck, steenbok, duiker and oribi. There are some exotic plant species and invader trees that are slowly being eradicated.
There are some exotic plant species and invader trees that are slowly being eradicated.
+
  
 
===Climate===
 
===Climate===
Line 49: Line 50:
  
 
==Fees/Permits==
 
==Fees/Permits==
Entrance to the reserve costs R30 per adult, R15 for children under 13 and free for children under 5. The disabled or elderly (over 60) pay R15 entrance fee.
+
Entrance to the reserve costs R40 per adult, R20 for children (6-16 years)and free for children under 5. The disabled or elderly (over 60) pay R20 entrance fee.
  
Access to the Angling area requires an additional permit at R20.
+
Access to the Angling area is also R40 and the reserve can be accessed from the angling area.
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Line 57: Line 58:
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
 +
{{infobox|See more wildlife|Larger game tend to stay away from the main tar roads in the park. To improve your chances of seeing rhino, zebra and other larger animals it is a good idea to get off the tar and use the couple of dirt roads that are open to visitors, specifically those between the Gwarry Route and Main Road.}}
 +
 
* Wildlife
 
* Wildlife
 
* A stone rampart build by the British forces during the ''Boer'' wars.
 
* A stone rampart build by the British forces during the ''Boer'' wars.
Line 64: Line 67:
 
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei05.jpg|thumb|The picnic area]]
 
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei05.jpg|thumb|The picnic area]]
 
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei04.jpg|thumb|From the bird hide at the picnic area]]
 
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei04.jpg|thumb|From the bird hide at the picnic area]]
* <do name="Angling" phone="+27 (0)12 345-3917" price="A onceoff R20 permit is required">catfish, yellow fish, carp and tilapia are common.</do>
+
* <do name="Angling" phone="+27 (0)12 358-1811" price="A onceoff R40 permit is required">catfish, yellow fish, carp and tilapia are common.</do>
 
* <do name="Bird watching">There are four bird hides in the reserve. The one at the picnic area is a bit old and creaky and some of the seating need repairs, kids from the picnic area can also be a nuisance to the serious bird watcher. The one on the Vlei Route is supported by ''Friends of Rietvlei'' and is in excellent condition and offers a good view of the ''vlei''. The hide on Main Road has views over almost the whole Rietvlei dam, but is normally the first hide visitors see and you can expect some traffic in and out as people come to see what the hides look like.</do>
 
* <do name="Bird watching">There are four bird hides in the reserve. The one at the picnic area is a bit old and creaky and some of the seating need repairs, kids from the picnic area can also be a nuisance to the serious bird watcher. The one on the Vlei Route is supported by ''Friends of Rietvlei'' and is in excellent condition and offers a good view of the ''vlei''. The hide on Main Road has views over almost the whole Rietvlei dam, but is normally the first hide visitors see and you can expect some traffic in and out as people come to see what the hides look like.</do>
* <do name="Picnic">The picnic area at Marais dam has clean toilets, ''braai'' areas, and running water. Bring a blanket, something to eat and drink and relax.</do>
+
* <do name="Picnic" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The picnic area at Marais dam has clean toilets, ''braai'' areas, and running water. Bring a blanket, something to eat and drink and relax.</do>
 
* <do name="Sailing" url="http://www.psc.org.za/" phone="+27 (0)12 345-3576" phoneextra="+27 (0)76 901-2690" email="psc@sailing.org.za">The Pretoria Sailing Club operated on Rietvlei dam. In order to sail you will have to become a temporary club member. Gypsies, Lasers and O9s are available for rent.</do>
 
* <do name="Sailing" url="http://www.psc.org.za/" phone="+27 (0)12 345-3576" phoneextra="+27 (0)76 901-2690" email="psc@sailing.org.za">The Pretoria Sailing Club operated on Rietvlei dam. In order to sail you will have to become a temporary club member. Gypsies, Lasers and O9s are available for rent.</do>
  
 
* <do name="Day Hiking Trails" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274" price="R50 per person" priceextra="R250 minimum deposit">4 hours guided hike. Groups of 10 to 15 people.</do>
 
* <do name="Day Hiking Trails" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274" price="R50 per person" priceextra="R250 minimum deposit">4 hours guided hike. Groups of 10 to 15 people.</do>
* <do name="Overnight Hiking Trails" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274" price="R120 per person" priceextra="R250 minimum deposit" hours="From Friday afternoon to Sunday Afternoon">Groups of 6 to 8 people. Guided hike, 21km through the reserve. Two basic ''rondavels'' (''huts'') with beds, mattrasses, hot and cold water, some limited cooking utensils and firewood is provided. The ''rondavels'' do not have electricity.</do>
+
* <do name="Overnight Hiking Trails" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274" price="R150 per person" priceextra="R300 minimum deposit" hours="From Friday afternoon to Sunday Afternoon">Groups of 6 to 8 people. Guided hike, 21km through the reserve. Two basic ''rondavels'' (''huts'') with beds, mattrasses, hot and cold water, some limited cooking utensils and firewood is provided. The ''rondavels'' do not have electricity.</do>
  
* <do name="Day Horse Rides" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274" price="R160 per person" priceextra="Minimum R350 deposit">Groups of 6 to 10 people. Horse, saddle and guide is included.</do>
+
* <do name="Day Horse Rides" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274" url="" hours="" price="R120 per person" lat="" long="" priceextra="Minimum R320 deposit">Groups of 6 to 10 people. Horse, saddle and guide is included.</do>
* <do name="Overnight Horse Rides" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274" price="R360 per person" priceextra="Minimum R1050 deposit" hours="5PM on Friday to 12PM on Sunday">Groups of 6 to 8 people. Horse and equipment is included. Riders should have some horse riding experience. Router covers 36km. Two basic ''rondavels'' (''huts'') with beds, mattrasses, hot and cold water, some limited cooking utensils and firewood is provided. The ''rondavels'' do not have electricity.</do>
+
  
* <do name="Night game drives" hours="6PM to 10:30PM, Mondays to Saturdays" price="R100 per person" priceextra="Minimum deposit of R400. Use of Fish Eagle Lapa at no extra cost.">2 hour game drive using spotlights to locate the wildlife. A fire (''and blankets in winter'') will be waiting at Fish Eagle Lapa for a ''bring and braai'' (''bring your own meat, salads, drinks etc and have a barbecue'') after the game drive.</do>
+
* <do name="Overnight Horse Rides" phone="+27 (0)12 345-2274" price="R265 per person" priceextra="Minimum R795 deposit" hours="5PM on Friday to 12PM on Sunday">Groups of 6 to 8 people. Horse and equipment is included. Riders should have some horse riding experience. Router covers 36km. Two basic ''rondavels'' (''huts'') with beds, mattrasses, hot and cold water, some limited cooking utensils and firewood is provided. The ''rondavels'' do not have electricity.</do>
  
* <do name="Have a function at Fish Eagle Lapa" hours="6AM to 12AM" price="R600" extraprice="An additional R600 refundable deposit is required to cover any potential breakage. Bookings must be made in advance">Up to 30 people, firewood supplied. No loud music allowed and everyone must be out by midnight.</do>
+
* <do name="Night game drives" hours="6PM to 10:30PM, Mondays to Saturdays" price="R135 per person" priceextra="Minimum deposit of R500. Use of Fish Eagle Lapa at no extra cost.">2 hour game drive using spotlights to locate the wildlife. A fire (''and blankets in winter'') will be waiting at Fish Eagle Lapa for a ''bring and braai'' (''bring your own meat, salads, drinks etc and have a barbecue'') after the game drive.</do>
* <do name="Have a large function" hours="6AM to 12AM" price="R1500" priceextra="An additional R1000 refundable deposit is required. Bookings must be done 3 weeks in advance">Maximum 200 people. Firewood, power points, ice mashine, stove, walk-in refrigerator and cushions are supplied. No loud music allowed and everyone must be out by midnight.</do>
+
 
 +
* <do name="Have a function at Fish Eagle Lapa" hours="6AM to 12AM" price="R600" extraprice="An additional R750 refundable deposit is required to cover any potential breakage. Bookings must be made in advance">Up to 30 people, firewood supplied. No loud music allowed and everyone must be out by midnight.</do>
 +
* <do name="Have a large function" hours="6AM to 12AM" price="R2200" priceextra="An additional R2200 refundable deposit is required. Bookings must be done 3 weeks in advance">Maximum 200 people. Firewood, power points, ice machine, stove, walk-in refrigerator and cushions are supplied. No loud music allowed and everyone must be out by midnight.</do>
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
There are no shops in the reserve. There is a small convenience shop just outside the reserve, located at the service station on the intersection of the '''M37''' and '''M31'''. Two large shopping malls are located within a 15km drive from the reserve. Follow the '''R21''' towards [[Pretoria]] until it joins the '''N1''' about 6km from the reserve, if you follow the '''N1''' towards the left you will reach [http://www.centurionmall.co.za/ Centurion Mall], towards the right will take you to [http://www.menlynpark.co.za/ Menlyn Park].
+
There is a shops in the reserve, the Rietvlei Coffee Shop. There is a Woolworths convenience shop just outside the reserve, located at the Engen service station on the intersection of the '''M37''' and '''M31'''. The Irene Village Mall [http://www.irenemall.co.za/] is located at the offramp from the R21, about 4km from the reserve.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
There are no restaurants or fast food outlets in the reserve, but there are also no restriction on what food you may take in for your own consumption.
+
There is the Rietvlei Coffee Shop in the reserve, and there is no restriction on what food you may take in for your own consumption.
  
 
Do not feed the animals.
 
Do not feed the animals.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
There are no places to buy drinks in the reserve, but there are safe to drink, municipal water on tap at most places where you may exit your vehicle.
+
Buy drinks in the reserve at the Coffee Shop. Municipal water on tap at most places where you may exit your vehicle is safe to drink.
 
Alcohol is allowed in the reserve, but anyone found intoxicated will be asked to leave.
 
Alcohol is allowed in the reserve, but anyone found intoxicated will be asked to leave.
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
 
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei02.jpg|thumb|Camping in the angling area]]
 
[[Image:South_Africa-Tshwane-Rietvlei02.jpg|thumb|Camping in the angling area]]
* <sleep name="Camping" phone="+27 (0)12 345-3917" checkin="Between 6AM and 6PM" price="R60 per stand (max 4 people)" priceextra="Access to the Angling area will require an addition permit at R20 per person. If you require electricity at your campsite it will be charged for at an additional R20 per night" address="Located in the Angling are">Basic, but clean ablution blocks. A maximum of 60 per night is allowed on the camp site. </sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Camping" alt="" address="Located in the Angling area" directions="" phone="+27 (0)12 358-1819" url="" checkin="Between 6AM and 6PM" checkout="" price="R60 per person, R25 per vehicle" lat="" long="" priceextra="Access to the Angling area will require an addition permit at R20 per person. Electricity available at the ablution block">Basic, but clean ablution blocks. A maximum of 60 per night is allowed on the camp site. </sleep>
* <sleep name="Chalets" phone="+27 (0)12 345-3917" checkin="Between 6AM and 6PM" price="R500 per chalet (max 6 people)" priceextra="Access to the Angling area will require an addition permit at R20 per person. A refundable deposit of R500 is also required"></sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Chalets" phone="+27 (0)12 358-1819" checkin="Between 6AM and 6PM" price="R750 per chalet (max 6 people)" priceextra="Access to the Angling area will require an addition permit at R40 per person. A refundable deposit of R650 is also required"></sleep>
  
 
==Stay safe==
 
==Stay safe==
 
There are dangerous animals in the park. Only exit your vehicle at designated areas, such at the picnic spot, bird hides, ''lapas'' and camping sites.
 
There are dangerous animals in the park. Only exit your vehicle at designated areas, such at the picnic spot, bird hides, ''lapas'' and camping sites.
No swimming is alowed in any of the dams as they are home to hippo and crocodile.
+
No swimming is allowed in any of the dams as they are home to hippos and crocodiles.
 +
 
 +
== Get in ==
 +
 
 +
* May this help : http://rzr.online.fr/icbm/-25.87494,28.27612
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
 
There are a number of other small areas within [[Gauteng]] that has not yet been overrun by human expansion and development
 
There are a number of other small areas within [[Gauteng]] that has not yet been overrun by human expansion and development
  
* <listing name="Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve" url="http://www.rhinolion.co.za/" phone="+27 (0)11 957-0106" email="hippo@global.co.za" hours="Open 8AM to 3:45PM" price="R70">Located in [[Krugersdorp]], this park offers game drive, horse trails, an observatory, abseiling, swimming pool and ''braai'' and picnic areas. Wide range of anumals.</listing>
+
* <listing name="Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve" url="http://www.rhinolion.co.za/" phone="+27 (0)11 957-0106" email="hippo@global.co.za" hours="Open 8AM to 3:45PM" price="R70">Located in [[Krugersdorp]], this park offers game drive, horse trails, an observatory, abseiling, swimming pool and ''braai'' and picnic areas. Wide range of animals.</listing>
 
* <listing name="Sterkfontein Caves" directions="West along the N14 and look for the Cradle of Humankind signs" phone="+27 (0)11 956-6342" url="http://www.sterkfontein-caves.co.za/">A tour guide will lead you through this extensive cave system where many early hominids and advanced ape fossils were discovered. ''Note that it is a 2 km walk''. You can also visit the museum to learn more about the evolution of man. There is also a restaurant and shop. </listing>
 
* <listing name="Sterkfontein Caves" directions="West along the N14 and look for the Cradle of Humankind signs" phone="+27 (0)11 956-6342" url="http://www.sterkfontein-caves.co.za/">A tour guide will lead you through this extensive cave system where many early hominids and advanced ape fossils were discovered. ''Note that it is a 2 km walk''. You can also visit the museum to learn more about the evolution of man. There is also a restaurant and shop. </listing>
 
* <listing name="Tswaing Meteorite Crater" address="Old Soutpan Road" directions="30 km north of Onderstepoort" phone="+27 (0)12 790-2302" url="http://www.nfi.org.za/Tswaing/News.htm">A perfectly preserved meteor crater just north of [[Pretoria]]</listing>
 
* <listing name="Tswaing Meteorite Crater" address="Old Soutpan Road" directions="30 km north of Onderstepoort" phone="+27 (0)12 790-2302" url="http://www.nfi.org.za/Tswaing/News.htm">A perfectly preserved meteor crater just north of [[Pretoria]]</listing>
Line 110: Line 118:
  
  
{{guide}}
+
{{guidepark}}
 
{{isIn|Tshwane}}
 
{{isIn|Tshwane}}
 +
{{title-icons|otbp-icon}}
 +
 +
{{related|African_National_Parks}}
 +
{{related|African_flora_and_fauna}}
 +
{{parkguide}}

Revision as of 17:09, 3 April 2012

Rhinos in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Rietvlei Nature Reserve [1] is a small reserve located in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.

Contents

Understand

Map of the reserve.
Rietvlei dam.
Rufous-naped Lark sitting on an ant hill.

Rietvlei (Reed marsh) has a size of 38 square kilometers and covered by 91km of roads. 40 km of these roads are open to the public (30km tarred and 10km dirt road) for self drive game viewing. The Rietvlei and Marais dams are located inside the reserve.

The reserve consist of three main areas:

  • The wildlife reserve area, rgewrgeger, +27 (0)12 358 1811/2. sdfffweA picnic area with toilet and braai facilities is located at Marais dam, four birdwatching hides are situated throughout the reserve and open to anyone in the reserve. Two lapas can be rented for exclusive use.
  • Angling area, +27 (0)12 358-1819. Offers camping and chalet accommodation.
  • Yacht Club, +27 (0)12 454-0637 (+27 (0)82 488-9900, ), [2]. Operated by the Pretoria Sailing Club.

The only boats allowed on the dams are those operated from the Yacht Club. Powerboats are totally forbidden as the noise disturbs the wildlife.

The reserve is generally not very busy. You will often have a bird hide all to yourself and there is seldom anyone else around to make noise and scare away the wildlife.

Summer is excellent for bird watching as many of the migrating species will also be found in the reserve, but the long lush grass may obscure some of the other wildlife. Rhino may be especially difficult to spot. Some antelope species will still be easily visible due to their size and the fact that they graze along the hill sides.

The Rietvlei dam supplied about 5% of Tshwane's water supply.

Volunteers

To be involved with a team of volunteers involved in many exciting tasks at Gauteng’s Rietvlei Nature Reserve, visit the web site of the Friends of Rietvlei: www.friendsofrietvlei.org

History

The government baught Rietvlei on on 2 Sept 1929 as Rietvallei (Extent 1 ), from DM Munro, in order to build the Rietvlei dam. As part of the Rietvlei water scheme, the Rietvlei dam was build in 1934 on the Six Mile Spruit. The dam wall is a earth structure and was build completely by hand. Donkey carts were used to cart soil onto site and remove any soil and other material that was no longer required. Many horse shoes lost by these working donkeys can still be found in the hill behind the Yacht Club.

In 1948 the city of Pretoria, which owns the land, proclaimed the area a nature reserve.

Landscape

Mostly open grassland covering low hills with indigenous tree in small groups. Rare for South Africa, it also contains a peat wetland area. An ancient lava stream runs north/south through the park.

The dams are fed by the Six Mile Spruit and four fountains on the reserve as well as one from an adjacent property.

Flora and fauna

The reserve has 272 bird and 530 plant species. Buffalo, hippopotamus, brown hyena, black back jackel, zebra, ostrich, cheetah, rhinoceros, and a number of antelope species. Lions can be seen with a game drive from the Coffee Shop in as seperatly fenced off area. Antelope include eland, red hartebees, black wildebees, blesbok, springbok, reedbuck, waterbuck, steenbok, duiker and oribi. There are some exotic plant species and invader trees that are slowly being eradicated.

Climate

The reserve has a typical Hightveld climate with hot days regularly followed by short and intense afternoon thunderstorms in summer. The thunderstorms are often accompanied by lightning and occasionally result in hail. Summer temperatures range between 16°C at night to 30°C during the day. Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging between a minimum of 5°C and a maximum of 20°C.

Get in

The reserve is located just off the R21 between Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport.

Take exit 12 (M31 Nellmapios Dr., Irene) from the R21, turn towards the east (there is a brown information sign boards indicating the reserve), at the first 4 way stop, turn right and about 2.5km down the road you will find another brown information sign board indicating a left turn towards the reserve entrance.

Gates are open for day visitors from 6AM to 5PM in summer (September to March) and 6AM to 4PM in winter. Day visitors are required to leave the reserve by 7PM in summer and 5PM in winter.

Fees/Permits

Entrance to the reserve costs R40 per adult, R20 for children (6-16 years)and free for children under 5. The disabled or elderly (over 60) pay R20 entrance fee.

Access to the Angling area is also R40 and the reserve can be accessed from the angling area.

Get around

The easiest option for day visitors is to self drive. 30km of tarred and 10km of dirt road is provided for this. Speed limit within the reserve is 30km per hour.

See

See more wildlife
Larger game tend to stay away from the main tar roads in the park. To improve your chances of seeing rhino, zebra and other larger animals it is a good idea to get off the tar and use the couple of dirt roads that are open to visitors, specifically those between the Gwarry Route and Main Road.


  • Wildlife
  • A stone rampart build by the British forces during the Boer wars.
  • An old homestead dating back to the 1900s

Do

The picnic area
From the bird hide at the picnic area
  • Angling, +27 (0)12 358-1811. catfish, yellow fish, carp and tilapia are common. A onceoff R40 permit is required.
  • Bird watching. There are four bird hides in the reserve. The one at the picnic area is a bit old and creaky and some of the seating need repairs, kids from the picnic area can also be a nuisance to the serious bird watcher. The one on the Vlei Route is supported by Friends of Rietvlei and is in excellent condition and offers a good view of the vlei. The hide on Main Road has views over almost the whole Rietvlei dam, but is normally the first hide visitors see and you can expect some traffic in and out as people come to see what the hides look like.
  • Picnic. The picnic area at Marais dam has clean toilets, braai areas, and running water. Bring a blanket, something to eat and drink and relax.
  • Sailing, +27 (0)12 345-3576 (+27 (0)76 901-2690, ), [3]. The Pretoria Sailing Club operated on Rietvlei dam. In order to sail you will have to become a temporary club member. Gypsies, Lasers and O9s are available for rent.
  • Day Hiking Trails, +27 (0)12 345-2274. 4 hours guided hike. Groups of 10 to 15 people. R50 per person (R250 minimum deposit).
  • Overnight Hiking Trails, +27 (0)12 345-2274. From Friday afternoon to Sunday Afternoon. Groups of 6 to 8 people. Guided hike, 21km through the reserve. Two basic rondavels (huts) with beds, mattrasses, hot and cold water, some limited cooking utensils and firewood is provided. The rondavels do not have electricity. R150 per person (R300 minimum deposit).
  • Day Horse Rides, +27 (0)12 345-2274. Groups of 6 to 10 people. Horse, saddle and guide is included. R120 per person (Minimum R320 deposit).
  • Overnight Horse Rides, +27 (0)12 345-2274. 5PM on Friday to 12PM on Sunday. Groups of 6 to 8 people. Horse and equipment is included. Riders should have some horse riding experience. Router covers 36km. Two basic rondavels (huts) with beds, mattrasses, hot and cold water, some limited cooking utensils and firewood is provided. The rondavels do not have electricity. R265 per person (Minimum R795 deposit).
  • Night game drives. 6PM to 10:30PM, Mondays to Saturdays. 2 hour game drive using spotlights to locate the wildlife. A fire (and blankets in winter) will be waiting at Fish Eagle Lapa for a bring and braai (bring your own meat, salads, drinks etc and have a barbecue) after the game drive. R135 per person (Minimum deposit of R500. Use of Fish Eagle Lapa at no extra cost.).
  • Have a function at Fish Eagle Lapa. 6AM to 12AM. Up to 30 people, firewood supplied. No loud music allowed and everyone must be out by midnight. R600.
  • Have a large function. 6AM to 12AM. Maximum 200 people. Firewood, power points, ice machine, stove, walk-in refrigerator and cushions are supplied. No loud music allowed and everyone must be out by midnight. R2200 (An additional R2200 refundable deposit is required. Bookings must be done 3 weeks in advance).

Buy

There is a shops in the reserve, the Rietvlei Coffee Shop. There is a Woolworths convenience shop just outside the reserve, located at the Engen service station on the intersection of the M37 and M31. The Irene Village Mall [4] is located at the offramp from the R21, about 4km from the reserve.

Eat

There is the Rietvlei Coffee Shop in the reserve, and there is no restriction on what food you may take in for your own consumption.

Do not feed the animals.

Drink

Buy drinks in the reserve at the Coffee Shop. Municipal water on tap at most places where you may exit your vehicle is safe to drink. Alcohol is allowed in the reserve, but anyone found intoxicated will be asked to leave.

Sleep

Camping in the angling area
  • Camping, Located in the Angling area, +27 (0)12 358-1819. checkin: Between 6AM and 6PM. Basic, but clean ablution blocks. A maximum of 60 per night is allowed on the camp site. R60 per person, R25 per vehicle (Access to the Angling area will require an addition permit at R20 per person. Electricity available at the ablution block).
  • Chalets, +27 (0)12 358-1819. checkin: Between 6AM and 6PM. R750 per chalet (max 6 people) (Access to the Angling area will require an addition permit at R40 per person. A refundable deposit of R650 is also required).

Stay safe

There are dangerous animals in the park. Only exit your vehicle at designated areas, such at the picnic spot, bird hides, lapas and camping sites. No swimming is allowed in any of the dams as they are home to hippos and crocodiles.

Get in

Get out

There are a number of other small areas within Gauteng that has not yet been overrun by human expansion and development

  • Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, +27 (0)11 957-0106 (), [5]. Open 8AM to 3:45PM. Located in Krugersdorp, this park offers game drive, horse trails, an observatory, abseiling, swimming pool and braai and picnic areas. Wide range of animals. R70.
  • Sterkfontein Caves, (West along the N14 and look for the Cradle of Humankind signs), +27 (0)11 956-6342, [6]. A tour guide will lead you through this extensive cave system where many early hominids and advanced ape fossils were discovered. Note that it is a 2 km walk. You can also visit the museum to learn more about the evolution of man. There is also a restaurant and shop.
  • Tswaing Meteorite Crater, Old Soutpan Road (30 km north of Onderstepoort), +27 (0)12 790-2302, [7]. A perfectly preserved meteor crater just north of Pretoria
  • Some areas around Hartebeespoort is still undeveloped and offers country accommodation.


This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information about the park including attractions, activities, lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, and arrival/departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!











Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages