Rietvlei Nature Reserve – 3 February 2013

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We’ve made mention before of how fortunate we are to live in Pretoria, where so many nature reserves are to be found in close proximity to the city. At 3600ha, the Rietvlei Nature Reserve is the largest of the nature areas within the city limits, and is located right at the southern edge of the metro.

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Rietvlei is an important reserve in that it protects a variety of rare and threatened plants, animals and habitats. Visitors are drawn by a wide range of birds and animals that include lion (in a separate 100ha camp), white rhinoceros, buffalo, hippopotamus, cheetah, brown hyena and large herds of zebra and antelope. In addition, the Rietvlei Dam offers opportunities for fishing and sailing, with hiking, biking and horse trails being attractive alternatives to driving around or spending hours in one of the four photographic hides for exploring to reserve. Visitors can even overnight in the reserve, with camping and chalets being available next to the dam. There are two picnic sites in the reserve and a coffee shop where you can enjoy delicious baked treats.

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Unfortunately, due to its urban setting, the reserve can hardly be described as pristine and its management has to contend with a lot of human impact, much of it totally unavoidable and irreversible. The encroaching city sprawl almost surrounds the reserve while electricity pylons, water pipelines and invasive alien plants are very much in evidence. These negative factors however shouldn’t deter you from visiting Rietvlei – it has so much counting in its favour and it certainly is a popular retreat, especially over weekends, for city-dwellers intent on spending some time in the outdoors, as we were last Sunday.

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6 thoughts on “Rietvlei Nature Reserve – 3 February 2013

  1. Pingback: Mountain Reedbuck | de Wets Wild

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  3. mjculverphotography

    Wow guys. So informative and such a pity that the impact of civilization is encroaching on this beautiful nature reserve. This seems to be a great place for working families to unwind and relax without having to drive a long way (kids in the back ……”are we there yet?” – I’m sure you can relate). Beautiful images as always. It’s so great that SA is preserving its parks and wildlife.

    Happy weekend de Wets

    Marks and Joey

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Yep, we definitely are getting familiar with the “how far still?” comments from our three-year old! But seeing as the apple didn’t fall far from the tree I (Dries) can still remember how excited I got when my parents loaded me and my siblings in the car for a trip to the game reserve, so I’m pretty sure it’s payback for every time I asked the same question all those years ago… Hope you have a great weekend as well!

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