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Game and Nature Reserves Near Pretoria and Joburg - 2019 

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Game and Nature Reserves Near Pretoria and Joburg - 2019
Gauteng is home to unique bushveld experiences. Here we review all you need to know about game reserves, nature reserves & game lodges near Pretoria & Joburg
Title Image

Game and Nature Reserves Near Pretoria and Joburg - 2019

Gauteng is home to unique bushveld experiences. Here we review all you need to know about game reserves, nature reserves & game lodges near Pretoria & Joburg
Title Image
Game and Nature Reserves Near Pretoria and Joburg - 2019
Gauteng is home to unique bushveld experiences. Here we review all you need to know about game reserves, nature reserves & game lodges near Pretoria & Joburg

Whether you’re in the mood to immerse yourself in an African bushveld experience, or you simply need a weekend away; take a look at this guide to some of the best game viewing options near Pretoria and Joburg.

Our list covers a handful of game lodges, game reserves and nature reserves nearby that promise to keep your bucket list overflowing with ideas. There’s something for everyone wanting to get away from the city for a break.

Don’t forget to check out what’s happening in Pretoria and Joburg today!

Game Reserves

Home to prime wildlife reserves and idyllic safari destinations, the Gauteng province boasts some of the most diverse game reserves in South Africa. If an unforgettable encounter with the Big Five is what you’re looking for, then you’re in the right place because we’ve got all you need to know!

Dinokeng Game Reserve

The Dinokeng Game Reserve is the first free-roaming Big Five residential game reserve in Gauteng situated next to an urbanized area.

Take your bushveld experience to new heights@haywardsafaris

It is a private/public initiative that was opened on 22 September 2011 with the introduction of four of the Big Five to the reserve. Buffalo were later added in 2012.

If you’re looking to take your safari experience to another level, the reserve also offers a range of activities to their guests. These include:

The reserve is home to about 30 lodges ranging from camping and caravanning options to self-catering lodges, tented accommodation and fully catered accommodation. There’s something for everyone!

Mabula Game Lodge

Are you looking for an extraordinary encounter with South Africa’s unique bushveld? The Mabula Game lodge has got just that!

Experience the Big Five like never before @alejandro_paniagua_m

Home to a variety of animal, bird and plant life; the diverse landscape of the Waterberg region creates an ideal habitat for the free roaming Big Five and other beautiful animals!

You could spend two weeks at Mabula Game Lodge and not experience the vast array of activities on offer for both young and old. From quad biking to bird walks, stargazing drives to dam picnics, fill your days and nights with all that the Mabula bushveld as to offer.

The Mabula Wildlife Centre is a veritable hive of activities offering such bush experiences as horse trails, quad biking, tennis and guided walks.

Madikwe Game Reserve

The Madikwe Game Reserve is currently the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa. Despite its size, it is one of the lesser-known reserves which adds to its “hidden-gem” appeal!

Fall in love with the wild side of nature @madikwe_conservation

The park is home to the Big Five and offers a number of luxurious lodges designed to make your bushveld experience one of the best!

Pilanesberg National Park & Game Reserve

Among Southern Africa’s fascinating game reserves, Pilanesberg National Park is possibly the most accessible.

Does life get much better than this? @pilanesberg_

Situated in the ecologically rich transition zone between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, this vast area promises thrilling big game viewing in a malaria free area.

While the park is relatively small in size, its ecological richness increases the chance of encountering the Big Five.

A visit to Pilanesberg will give you the chance to choose your own adventure, whether you choose to enjoy a leisurely safari experience or take to the skies in a hot air balloon, the Pilanesberg has got something for you!

Nature Reserves

Gauteng is home to a large number of nature reserves. Without venturing far from the city of Pretoria or Joburg, you can experience the bushveld in all its glory.

From game viewings to bush walks and visits to 1000 year old trees - the nature reserves near Pretoria and Joburg are a must-do for tourists and locals alike.

Groenkloof Nature Reserve


In 1895, President Kruger proclaimed the land on the southern outskirts of Pretoria as a game sanctuary. The Groenkloof Nature Reserve was the first game sanctuary of its kind in South Africa, stretching across 600 hectares.

Situated 5km from the city, the Groenkloof Nature Reserve offers a variety of activities and ways to view the wildlife in their natural habitat. They also have horse trails, mountain biking and jeep rides throughout the park. Some of the wildlife includes:

  • Zebra
  • Jackal
  • Duiker
  • Kudu
  • Impala
  • Blue Wildebeest
  • Blesbuck
  • Red Hartebeest
  • Ostrich
  • Giraffe
  • Sable

Overnight facilities are available and they also run youth camps that accommodate groups of up to 60 people.

  • Entrance Fee:
    • R25pp
  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon-Sun, 5:30 - 19:00
  • Contact Number: 012 440 8316
  • Address: 44 Simon Vermooten Road, Meyers Park
  • More Info: Website

Rietvlei Nature Reserve

The Rietvlei Nature Reserve consists of 3 800 ha of endangered Bankenveld grassland and includes open plains and undulating hills.

Take a stroll out to the vlei @wildesidephotography

The extensive vlei areas and tributary streams support the scenic splendour of the azure blue Rietvlei Dam. It is home to over 2 000 animals including cheetah, leopard, buffalo, white rhino and a host of buck, making it one of the better populated game reserves in Gauteng.

  • Entrance Fee:
    • R48 per adult
    • R27 per child
  • Operating Hours:
    • September to March: 5.30am to 5pm
    • April to August: 6am to 4pm
  • Contact Number: 012 358 1810
  • Address: Opposite R21, Nelmapius and Olifantfontein
  • More Info: Website

Klapperkop Nature Reserve

The Klapperkop Nature Reserve is quickly becoming a popular jogging, cycling and mountain biking destination.

Stumble across beautiful scenes @kisamfalila

Which is no surprise because the views are amazing and the chance to see game on a lazy Sunday stroll is hard to beat! Small mammals like mongoose, hedgehogs, hares and porcupines are a regular sighting. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across larger game like zebra, blue wildebeest and red hartebeest.

  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Operating Hours:
    • September – April: 06:30 – 19:00
    • May – August: 07:00 – 17:00
  • Contact Number: 012 440 8316
  • Address: Johan Rissik Dr
  • More Info: Website

Wonderboom Nature Reserve

Situated in the North of Pretoria, the Wonderboom Nature Reserve forms a part of the Magaliesburg Mountains.

Discover the

The reserve offers scenic views from the top of the hill and is made up of woodland covered rocky slopes. This 200 ha reserve is famous for its 1000 year old fig tree, affectionately called the “Wonderboom”. Legend has it it that it grew so big because the chief of an indigenous tribe lies buried beneath its roots.

  • Entrance Fee:
    • Adults: R31
    • Children: R19
  • Operating Hours: 07:00 am - 18:00 pm
  • Contact Number: 012 440 8316
  • Address: Wonderboom, Pretoria
  • More Info: Website

International Primate Rescue

One of the many Primates at the Centre@iprescue

The International Primate Rescue was founded in 1996 by Sue Mousley, and originally known as the Marmoset Welfare Foundation. She was fascinated with the study of behavioural problems with non-human primates.

Located on Boundary Road in Pretoria, the sanctuary now houses over 100 primates from all over the world. It was the first of its kind and the aim is to provide a near-wild experience for all primates living within the sanctuary walls.

They educate owners or future primate owners on the pros and cons of having a primate as a pet and their doors are always open to hand-reared primates that cannot be released into the wild. It is a fun educational experience for the whole family.

  • Contact Number: 071 373 6560
  • Address: Plot 20, Boundary Road, Kromdraai
  • More Info: Website

Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre

Cheetah in its natural habitat@claire_vesier

Previously known as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre, the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre has been crucial to the preservation of the species.

The cheetah centre is situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg Mountains to the west of Pretoria North. On arrival, expect an extensive and interesting talk about the history of the centre and its breeding program.

The centre breeds in captivity to later release into the wild, ensuring a wide gene pool and adding to the number of endangered wild cheetahs living in South Africa.

Get your photo taken with the king cheetah and take the time to experience the cheetah run. You won’t regret it.

  • Contact Number: 012 504 9906
  • Address: R513, Brits, 0251
  • More Info: Website

Game Lodges

Are you looking for the perfect place to escape the city life? From luxury lodges to serene camping spots, here's all you need to know about game lodges near Pretoria and Joburg.

Woodlands Game Lodge and Conference Centre

Situated in the Bobbejaansberg Nature Reserve between the Bobbejaans Mountains, lies this beautiful bushveld retreat.

Take a bushveld retreat@woodlandslodge

The Nature Reserve, which is over 920 hectares, is home to a diverse selection of fauna and flora and more than 25 species of wild animals and over 200 bird species.

Set against a backdrop of pristine bushveld, a visit to this guest lodge is sure to be good for the soul!

Monateng Safari Lodge

Situated in the heart of the serene and tranquil African bushveld, this RCI Gold Crown Resort offers the perfect escape from the hustle of city life.

Take a drive on the wild side @dae.southafrica

The lodge has been named one of the best Gold Crown Safari Lodges in South Africa and also has a handful of activities available to keep the whole family entertained. These include:

  • Swimming pool
  • Games room
  • Tennis court
  • Supertubes
  • Guided game drives

With serenity in mind, the Monateng Lodge provides a relaxing holiday experience that offers both chalets and camping facilities for their guests.

Mongena Game Lodge

This 4-star lodge offers a Big Five bush safari experience that is hard to beat. It is a favourite for local and international guests who want to embrace the bushveld in a truly African setting.

How close would you get? @limpopofieldguidingacademy

The Lodge is home to a wide variety of the most majestic wild animals including cheetah and hyena which can be seen on a game drive or bush walk. This lodge offers excellent game viewing opportunities in the distinctive African bush.

So there you have it, your guide to some of the best game viewing opportunities near Pretoria and Joburg. From Big Five viewings and wildlife encounters to relaxing weekend getaways and luxurious camping spots, Gauteng truly does provide tourists and locals with a chance to live their adventure.

So, if you’ve got a penchant for adventure, then pack your backpack, grab a friend or two and head out for a day filled to the brim with new experiences.

Our vision at Vibescout is to provide the most relevant, current and comprehensive information.

If you feel we've missed something amazing or have any suggestions regarding our system, we would love to hear from you! Contact: info (at)