Groenkloof Nature Reserve

The Groenkloof Nature Reserve, located adjacent to the Fountains Valley at the southern entrance to Pretoria, was the first game sanctuary in Africa. The reserve of 600 ha is managed by the Department of Nature Conservation. The National Heritage Monument is located within the reserve. It is flanked by Christina de Wit Avenue and Nelson Mandela Drive, that separate it from the Voortrekker Monument and Klapperkop Nature Reserves. In aggregate these reserves conserve some 1,400 ha of bankenveld vegetation which is threatened in Gauteng.[1] The reserve is open to day visitors from 5:30 to 19:00 in summer, and 7:00 to 18:00 in winter.

Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Uitsig oor Groenkloof Natuurreservaat
Map showing the location of Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Map showing the location of Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Map showing the location of Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Map showing the location of Groenkloof Nature Reserve
LocationTshwane, South Africa
Nearest cityPretoria
Coordinates25°47′36″S 28°12′14″E / 25.7934°S 28.2039°ECoordinates: 25°47′36″S 28°12′14″E / 25.7934°S 28.2039°E
Groenkloof NR, City of Tshwane


This valley on the southern outskirts of Pretoria was proclaimed a game sanctuary by President Paul Kruger on 25 February 1895. Its main purpose was to protect the shy and timid oribi, which occurred there, and other game that were being depleted by hunters.[2] For many years however, the reserve was leased for exotic timber plantation, to supply wood and paper. A memorial wall is to be seen beside traces of the homestead of the early pioneer Lucas Bronkhorst, who settled here around 1839.

In April 2015 the head of the reserve, David Boshoff, was suspended and evicted from his council home by the Tshwane metro HR manager. The eviction came in the fifth month of a strike by the majority of the reserve's workers, who reportedly negated their agreement with management to return to work in February.[3]


When the reserve was reproclaimed in 1994, the plantations were removed to allow the natural vegetation to regenerate. Open grassland occurs along the Apies valley and the higher plateau. Native trees occur at varying densities on the hillsides and in the lower valley. These include white stinkwood, hook-thorn, mountain karee, velvet bushwillow, wild pear and puzzle bush.[2]

Since 1999 the reserve was stocked with various game species. These include zebra, blesbok, impala, kudu, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest (since 2002), giraffe (2002), sable (2003) and ostrich. Jackal, duiker and rock hyrax are also resident.

Over 120 bird species have been recorded in the reserve and the adjacent Fountains Valley.[4] Game birds include guineafowl, Swainson's spurfowl and crested francolin. The grassy floodplain of the Apies river and its riparian vegetation provide breeding habitat for a number of weaver, bishop and widow species, while the open woodlands on the lower hill slopes provide breeding territories for bushshrike and tchagra species.[4]

Special invertebrates of the reserve include Gunning's rock scorpion, golden-starburst baboon spider, the violin spider L. speluncarum which is endemic to caves of the Pretoria area,[5][6] and the purse-web spider, Calommata transvaalica,[7] which is severely threatened by urbanization in Gauteng.

Facilities and activities

Entrance fees differ depending on the intended activity, and the number of persons partaking. The reserve is popular with cyclists, and mountain bikers can follow a 20 km route. The three hiking trails are designated as the red (1.3/3.5 km), white (3.7 km) and yellow (10.5 km) trails. Hikers can reserve an overnight hut. Off-road enthusiasts can explore 14 km of 4x4 tracks, while game viewing is possible from a 5 km motor car route. Guided horse rides and pony rides for kids are also offered. There are two picnic areas, named Meriting and Mashupeng, and a lapa may be rented for evening get-togethers.


Meriting-piekniekplek, Groenkloof Natuurreservaat
Meriting picnic area

See also


  1. ^ George Bredenkamp & Noel van Rooyen. 34. Rocky Highveld Grassland. In: Low, A.B. & Rebelo, A.G. (eds) Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria.
  2. ^ a b "Groenkloof Nature Reserve". Services. City of Tshwane. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  3. ^ Barnard, Yolanda (3 April 2015). "Groenkloof's nature reserve head evicted from house". Pretoria East Rekord. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Groenkloof Nature Reserve". Birds in Reserves Project. ADU, University of Cape Town. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  5. ^ Lotz, L.N. (2012). "Present status of Sicariidae (Arachnida: Araneae) in the Afrotropical region". Zootaxa. 3522: 1–41.
  6. ^ "New data on south African species, Present status of Sicariidae" (PDF). Sansa newsletter (17): 12. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  7. ^ Fourie, Rene; Haddad, Charles; Jocqué, Rudy (4 May 2011). "A revision of the purse-web spider genus Calommata Lucas, 1837 (Araneae, Atypidae) in the Afrotropical Region". ZooKeys. 95: 1–28. doi:10.3897/zookeys.95.745. PMC 3095129. PMID 21594067.

Media related to Groenkloof Nature Reserve at Wikimedia Commons

Fountains Valley, Pretoria

The Fountains Valley is a recreational resort at the southern entrance to Pretoria in South Africa. It was proclaimed as a nature reserve by President Paul Kruger on 1 February 1895. Consequently, this 60 ha reserve, along with the contiguous Groenkloof Nature Reserve, constitute the oldest nature reserves on the African continent.The Apies River flows through the resort, and there are two natural water sources in the area. The resort has various recreational facilities such as a caravan park, swimming pool, lapa, playground and barbecue facilities.

The historic ruins of the house of Lucas Cornelius Bronkhorst (1795–1875) is located near the resort. The Bronkhorst family was part of Hendrik Potgieter's trek party during the Great Trek, and were the first owners of the farms in the district where Pretoria was later established.


Gauteng ( khow-TENG; Southern Sotho: Gauteng [xɑ́úˈtʼèŋ̀]; Zulu: iGauteng; Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, Tswana: Gauteng; Xhosa: iRhawuti; Tsonga: Gauteng; Southern Ndebele: I-Gauteng; Venda: Gauteng) is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. The name means "place of gold."

Situated in the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, accounting for only 1.5% of the land area. Nevertheless, it is highly urbanised, containing the country's largest city, Johannesburg, its administrative capital, Pretoria, and other large areas such as Midrand and Vanderbijlpark. As of 2018, Gauteng is the most populous province in South Africa with a population of approximately 14,700,000 people according to estimates.

Ida Mntwana

Ida Fiyo Mntwana (1903–1960) was a South African anti-apartheid activist.

N14 (South Africa)

The N14 is a national route in South Africa which runs from Springbok in the Northern Cape to Pretoria in Gauteng. It passes through Upington, Kuruman, Vryburg, Krugersdorp and Centurion. The section between Pretoria and Krugersdorp is maintained by the Gauteng Provincial government and is also designated the P158.

National Heritage Monument

The National Heritage Monument is a group of copper statues representing anti-apartheid activists, Zulu chiefs and missionaries. The monument is meant to reflect the struggle for liberation going back into the 1600s. It is located in Groenkloof Nature Reserve. The project was started in 2010, but as of 2015, only has 55 statues. A total of 400 to 500 statues are planned. When complete, the monument will be called "The Long Walk to Freedom."

Nature reserve

A nature reserve (also known as natural reserve, bioreserve, natural/nature preserve, or natural/nature conserve) is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions, regardless of nationality. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws. Normally it is more strictly protected than a nature park.


Pentarrhinum is a genus of plants in the family Apocynaceae, first described as a genus in 1838. It is native to Africa.

SpeciesPentarrhinum abyssinicum Decne. - E + C + S Africa

Pentarrhinum balense (Liede) Liede - Ethiopia

Pentarrhinum coriaceum Schltr. - KwaZulu-Natal

Pentarrhinum gonoloboides (Schltr.) Liede - Tanzania

Pentarrhinum insipidum E.Mey. - South Africa

Pentarrhinum ledermannii (Schltr.) Goyder & Liede - Burundi

Pentarrhinum somaliense (N.E. Br.) Liede - Somaliaformerly includedmoved to other genera (Pentatropis, Tylophora)

Pentarrhinum fasciculatum K.Schum., synonym of Pentatropis nivalis (J.F.Gmel.) D.V.Field & J.R.I.Wood

Pentarrhinum iringense Markgr., synonym of Tylophora iringensis (Markgr.) Goyder


Pretoria (; Zulu: ePitoli; Tswana: Tshwane) is a city in the northern part of Gauteng province in South Africa. It straddles the Apies River and has spread eastwards into the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the administrative branch of government (Cape Town is the legislative capital and Bloemfontein the judicial capital), and of foreign embassies to South Africa. Pretoria has a reputation for being an academic city with three universities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Human Sciences Research Council. The city also hosts the National Research Foundation and the South African Bureau of Standards making the city a hub for research. Pretoria is the central part of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality which was formed by the amalgamation of several former local authorities including Centurion and Soshanguve. There have been proposals to change the name of Pretoria itself to Tshwane, and the proposed name change has caused some public controversy.

Pretoria is named after the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius, and within South Africa sometimes called the "Jacaranda City" due to the thousands of jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens.

Protected areas of South Africa

The protected areas of South Africa include national parks and marine protected areas managed by the national government, public nature reserves managed by provincial and local governments, and private nature reserves managed by private landowners. Most protected areas are intended for the conservation of flora and fauna. National parks are maintained by South African National Parks (SANParks). A number of national parks have been incorporated in transfrontier conservation areas.

Protected areas may also be protected for their value and importance as historical, cultural heritage or scientific sites. More information on these can be found in the list of heritage sites in South Africa.

South African giraffe

The South African giraffe or Cape giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa) is a subspecies of giraffe ranging from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique. It has rounded or blotched spots, some with star-like extensions on a light tan background, running down to the hooves.

In 2016, the population was estimated at 31,500 individuals in the wild.

White-breasted cuckooshrike

The white-breasted cuckooshrike (Ceblepyris pectoralis) is a species of bird in the Campephagidae family.

It is found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and dry savanna.

Bird species of Groenkloof Nature Reserve[4]
Common name Scientific name Status Breeding
Common ostrich Struthio camelus uncommon
Reed cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus vagrant
Grey heron Ardea cinerea rare
Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis uncommon
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta rare
Hadeda ibis Bostrychia hagedash abundant
Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiacus uncommon
Yellow-billed kite Milvus aegyptius rare
Verreaux's eagle Aquila verreauxii uncommon
Steppe buzzard Buteo vulpinus rare
Little sparrowhawk Accipiter minullus rare
Coqui francolin Peliperdix coqui rare
Crested francolin Dendroperdix sephaena rare
Swainson's spurfowl Pternistis swainsonii regular
Helmeted guineafowl Numida meleagris abundant breeder
Crowned lapwing Vanellus coronatus regular
Blacksmith lapwing Vanellus armatus rare
African wattled lapwing Vanellus senegallus rare
Speckled pigeon Columba guinea rare
African olive pigeon Columba arquatrix rare breeder
Red-eyed dove Streptopelia semitorquata regular breeder
Cape turtle-dove Streptopelia capicola abundant
Laughing dove Streptopelia senegalensis abundant
Rock dove Columba livia rare
Grey go-away-bird Corythaixoides concolor abundant
Red-chested cuckoo Cuculus solitarius uncommon breeder
Black cuckoo Cuculus clamosus uncommon breeder
Levaillant's cuckoo Clamator levaillantii rare breeder
Klaas's cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas rare breeder
Diderick cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius regular breeder
White-rumped swift Apus caffer uncommon
Little swift Apus affinis uncommon
African palm-swift Cypsiurus parvus uncommon
Speckled mousebird Colius striatus regular
Red-faced mousebird Urocolius indicus regular
Woodland kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis rare breeder
Brown-hooded kingfisher Halcyon albiventris rare
European bee-eater Merops apiaster uncommon
African hoopoe Upupa africana regular
Green wood-hoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus regular breeder
Black-collared barbet Lybius torquatus common
Yellow-fronted tinkerbird Pogoniulus chrysoconus rare
Crested barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii abundant
Lesser honeyguide Indicator minor uncommon
Brown-backed honeybird Prodotiscus regulus rare
Golden-tailed woodpecker Campethera abingoni rare
Cardinal woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens uncommon
Red-throated wryneck Jynx ruficollis rare
Rufous-naped lark Mirafra africana rare breeder
Barn swallow Hirundo rustica rare
White-throated swallow Hirundo albigularis rare
Greater striped swallow Hirundo cucullata regular
Lesser striped swallow Hirundo abyssinica rare
South African cliff-swallow Hirundo spilodera rare
Rock martin Hirundo fuligula uncommon
Common house-martin Delichon urbicum rare
Black cuckooshrike Campephaga flava rare
White-breasted cuckooshrike Coracina pectoralis vagrant
Fork-tailed drongo Dicrurus adsimilis common
Black-headed oriole Oriolus larvatus regular
Pied crow Corvus albus uncommon
Arrow-marked babbler Turdoides jardineii common
Dark-capped bulbul Pycnonotus tricolor abundant breeder
Kurrichane thrush Turdus libonyanus regular
Groundscraper thrush Psophocichla litsipsirupa uncommon
Karoo thrush Turdus smithi rare
Mocking cliff-chat Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris rare
African stonechat Saxicola torquatus rare
Cape robin-chat Cossypha caffra common
White-browed scrub-robin Cercotrichas leucophrys rare
Willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus rare
Marsh warbler Acrocephalus palustris rare
Cape grassbird Sphenoeacus afer rare
Bar-throated apalis Apalis thoracica rare
Zitting cisticola Cisticola juncidis rare breeder
Neddicky Cisticola fulvicapilla regular
Rattling cisticola Cisticola chiniana uncommon breeder
Lazy cisticola Cisticola aberrans rare
Tawny-flanked prinia Prinia subflava abundant
Black-chested prinia Prinia flavicans uncommon breeder
Spotted flycatcher Muscicapa striata uncommon
Southern black flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina rare
Fiscal flycatcher Sigelus silens regular
Chinspot batis Batis molitor rare
Fairy flycatcher Stenostira scita rare
African paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis uncommon breeder
Striped pipit Anthus lineiventris rare
Common fiscal Lanius collaris abundant
Southern boubou Laniarius ferrugineus abundant
Black-backed puffback Dryoscopus cubla regular
Brown-crowned tchagra Tchagra australis rare breeder
Black-crowned tchagra Tchagra senegalus regular breeder
Bokmakierie Telophorus zeylonus common breeder
Grey-headed bush-shrike Malaconotus blanchoti rare breeder
White-crested helmet-shrike Prionops plumatus rare
Brubru Nilaus afer rare
Common myna Acridotheres tristis common breeder
Cape glossy starling Lamprotornis nitens regular
Red-winged starling Onychognathus morio rare
White-bellied sunbird Cinnyris talatala regular
Amethyst sunbird Chalcomitra amethystina regular
Cape white-eye Zosterops virens rare
House sparrow Passer domesticus rare
Cape sparrow Passer melanurus common breeder
Southern masked-weaver Ploceus velatus abundant breeder
Southern red bishop Euplectes orix regular breeder
Red-collared widowbird Euplectes ardens uncommon breeder
White-winged widowbird Euplectes albonotatus regular breeder
Long-tailed widowbird Euplectes progne rare breeder
Bronze mannikin Spermestes cucullatus uncommon
African firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata rare
Jameson's firefinch Lagonosticta rhodopareia rare
Blue waxbill Uraeginthus angolensis rare
Black-faced waxbill Estrilda erythronotos rare
Common waxbill Estrilda astrild uncommon
Purple indigobird Vidua purpurascens rare breeder
Yellow-fronted canary Crithagra mozambicus common breeder
Black-throated canary Crithagra atrogularis regular
Streaky-headed seedeater Crithagra gularis regular
Cinnamon-breasted bunting Emberiza tahapisi rare
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