Nature, Wildlife & Birding
Parks and open spaces
- Every Saturday morning at 8 am is the Park Run in Delta Park – a 5km timed run or walk. Part of a world-wide initiative these run/walks are open to everyone, are free, safe and easy to take part in. Walkers, dogs and children in strollers are welcomed. It starts at the Environmental Centre accessed from Victory Park. For directions See www.parkrun.co.za/delta/ but if you wanted to walk to the start, it is a 15 minute walk from Liz at Lancaster.
- The Zoo Lake: a lovely Park area across Jan Smuts Ave from the Johannesburg Zoo. After public holidays and even Sundays before the litter has been cleared, it can be quite tacky, so avoid these days. If you have children feed the ducks and then have lunch or a drink at Moyos outdoor restaurant 011 646 7758
- Emmarentia Dam and Botanical Gardens (still no action group organizing walks but a lovely park and open area.) Go over weekends when it is well-frequented
- Witwatersrand Botanical Gardens: Malcolm Road, Poortview 011 958 1750 www.sanbi.org. Far out, at least an hour's drive from Liz at Lancaster but well worth a visit if you are here for a long stay and like the outdoors. Take a full morning minimum. There is a lovely waterfall and walk up to the viewing point to see a pair of nesting black eagles.
- Melville Koppies Judith Rd Emmarentia Johannesburg ; Open days: 2nd & 4th Sunday: 8.30am; Adults R20, kids R10; 1st & 3rd Sunday: 3pm Wendy Carstens 011 482 4797 Guests are taken on a 1 hr guided walk followed by a stroll down to the spruit. The whole route through the 50 hectare reserve takes about 3hrs.; bring water bottle, hat, good shoes. For full programme of all the different events (and there are lots) see www.mk.org.za/mkcal.htm
- Johannesburg Zoo: cr Jan Smuts and Upper Park Drive 5 and 10km walks through the Zoo every 2nd Sunday of the month www.jhbzoo.org.za 011 646 2000
- Kloofendal North West Johannesburg The reserve is open 7 days a week, incl. public holidays, 06h00 until 18h00; Free entry; Guided Walks: R30; children R20. Nocturnal events: Adults R40; children R20. R10 per car for security guard to be on duty. More detail phone Karin Spottiswoode 011 674 2980; 072 595 6991 The Kloofendal Nature Reserve is situated in the suburb of Kloofendal, Roodepoort. It is on the west side of Johannesburg, midway between Westgate and Clearwater Mall. The entrance is on Galena Street, between Topaz and Ouklip Roads, in the suburb of Kloofendal. Walks can also be self guided. Take a picnic and enjoy the day out. Visit the bird hide. www.footprint.co.za/kloofendal.htm
- There are great hikes in the Magaliesberg but as they are all on private farms, it is virtually impossible to have access unless you are a member of the local hiking club or mountaineering club. See Johannesburg Hiking Association 011 465 -9888 www.jhbhiking.co.za
- Mountain Sanctuary Park in Magaliesburg offers great walking, or hiking options. Clearly marked walking trails in varying lengths - also cycling trails. www.mountain-sanctuary.co.za
- The Crocodile Ramble in the Cradle of Humankind www.theramble.co.za Contact numbers 0145779323 or (0)83 381 4187; (0) 83 284 3523; Seems to be one of the really successful local regional tourism associations (along with the Midlands Meander in Natal)
- Horse riding down in Delta Park: (5 blocks from Liz at Lancaster) can be arranged over weekends; Phone Paulette Malcolm 011 787 3680
- Lipizzaner Horse Shows: Every Sunday 10.30. 011 702 2103 R100 per adult 1 Dahlia Rd Kyalami
- Pilanesberg National Park: Home to the big 5 The best option by far is to take a day trip to the Pilanesberg. Leave at 6ish in the morning. About 2 hours from Johannesburg. We can arrange a day trip if you wish but let me know in advance. 014 555 5351 Pilanesberg is right next to Sun City and there is a charge to get into to Sun City so the rates vary if you want to do a tour with Sun City as well as the Pilanesberg. If you want to spend a night make it the last night of your stay on Johannesburg. 014 555 5351 For more details see www.pilanesberg-game-reserve.co.za
- Rhino and Lion Park in the Cradle of Humankind offers the opportunity to see quite a wide range of African animals and you can also visit the Wonder Cave www.rhinolion.co.za
- The Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre at De Wildt was established in 1971, initially as a cheetah breeding project but wild dog and other animals are now also bred. Guided tours give insight into breeding programmes and wildlife conservation.
Cheetah run and 3 hour tour: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings; no children under 6; Cheetah run starts at 08h00.
3 hour guided tour only: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 13h30; Wednesdays at 08h30 and 13h30; (012) 504 9906/7/8; Cell: 083 892 0515 www.dewildt.co.za.
- Elephant Sanctuary Tours morning and afternoon: 9.45 for 10 am and 13.45 for 14.00 www.elephantsanctuary.co.za
BIRDWATCHINGLiz at Lancaster is ideally placed for bird-watching excursions.
- We have seen or heard over 42 species in our garden
- In nearby Delta Park more than 269 species have been recorded
- There are many excellent birding spots on the outskirts of Johannesburg such as Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens; , Marievale Bird Sanctuary and Rondebult Nature Reserve
- We are 1.5 km from BirdLife SA headquarters!
From BirdLife South Africa Website:
"...few people realize that Gauteng is one of South Africa's premier birding areas. There are approximately 400 species in the region, including 60 southern African endemics. Gauteng has the largest number of birders as well as contributors to the South African Bird Atlas Projects."