Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, is often billed as the Jacaranda City, due to the purple flowers that bloom across the city’s various gardens and parks in spring. The destination has several historical and natural attractions, which attract people from all parts of the world. Take a look at the three top nature reserves that accentuate the beauty of this lovely destination.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve      

Rietvlei Nature Reserve is a tranquil and natural getaway situated hardly a 20 minute drive from the bustling city centre. The reserve packs in some interesting history by way of a dam, which was built during the Great Depression. The reserve is also home to wildlife such as zebra, red hartebeest, hippo, eland, black wildebeest, waterbuck, blesbok, buffalo and cheetah. Sometimes visitors have also spotted white rhinos here. This place is a perfect destination for birdwatchers too as it is home to various species of birds including Funny Secretary Bird and Blue Crane. The image of the former is used in the national emblem of Sudan and also features in South Africa’s Coat of Arms, while the latter is the national bird of South Africa. There are trails for horse riding and hiking as well as provisions for interesting tours such as tea garden tours, lion tours and bird tours.

Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve

Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve is a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers. Spread across 100 hectares in Moreleta Kloof’s foothills, the nature reserve was a dairy farm in the 19th century. Part of the erstwhile dairy building has been converted into a restaurant, where you can enjoy hearty meals and feast your eyes upon the jungles and wildlife. Some of the animals found in the reserve are zebras, impalas, springbucks, ostriches and bushbucks. The sanctuary is also home to a wide variety of birds and one can often catch the spectacular sight of countless colourful birds in flight. The hiking trails measure 1.5 to 3 kilometres.

Groenkloof Nature Reserve

Groenkloof Nature Reserve, located in the Fountains Valley is just a few kilometres from Pretoria. It was Paul Kruger, who had declared this area as a nature reserve making it the first nature sanctuary of Africa in 1895. It is a perfect getaway for holiday-makers who want some peace and tranquillity. Adventure enthusiasts from all around the world come here to enjoy different activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and safaris. There are arrangements for horse riding, safaris, game viewing and youth camping too. In the overnight trails, one may spot some of the most exotic creatures, including red hartebeest, giraffe, Impala, blue wildebeest kudu and ostrich. There are several picnic spots for families to have a fun time together. The reserve also has an Afro-European fusion restaurant called Moyo. Tickets are available for groups as well as individuals.

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