Silkaatsnek Nature Reserve
The lovely town, Hartebeespoort, is a short drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria. Mostly known for the dam which the town was built around, you’d be surprised to find that the Magaliesberg mountain range is a lesser known feature of the modest little town. I was fortunate enough the hike at the Silkaats Nature Reserve located on the edge of town.
My journey began with a scenic flat surfaced hike of approximately 2.6km that offered ample opportunity to view some wild game, such as Zebra, Eland, Impala, Duiker, Vervet Monkey and Ostrich; and flora of a large variety. One plant that stood out among the rest was a giant Naboom tree that was as tall as the surrounding trees.
The sandy and sometimes rocky path weaved between the trees as it took me to the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range. From this point the path ceased to exist and journey forward could be classified as a wilderness hike. Finding the path of least resistance as you made your own way to the escarpment.
The climb began and so did some easy scrambling to find my footing in certain sections of the ascent. As the climb progresses the views became more picturesque. Revealing the plains nestled between the mountain ranges that kept rolling into the horizon. With a elevation gain of roughly 300m over approximately 1.2km it was fairly taxing and I was left feeling parched under the African sun that was blazing down on the side of the mountain.
Once I reached the escarpment I was rewarded with a brilliant viewpoint overlooking the Hartebeespoort dam and the town hugging its banks – a very short walk from the cableway where I refilled my energy stores with some local food and drink before taking the descent into the adjacent canyon.
The canyon descent was steep in certain places but overall quite easy to maneuver with a clear path to follow, crossing a gum-pole bridge at the very end before reaching the starting point of the hike.
To see a few more pictures of my journey at the Silkaatsnek Nature Reserve Route, watch the video below:
Silkaatsnek Nature Reserve Management Contact Information
Silkaatsnek Nature Reserve Downloads