With this detailed guide, you can save valuable time when planning your hiking adventure in South Africa. For three years, the authors explored and recorded 837 kilometers (523 miles) of astonishing hiking trails and walks in amazing landscapes, encountering giraffes, zebras and rhinos, magnificent valleys, and unique people and culture.
Most trails can be completed in 4-6 hours as day trips from Pretoria and Johannesburg. The more than 120 hiking trails in this guidebook have been grouped into the following geographic areas:
- Pretoria and surroundings;
- The Magaliesberg Mountain Range (northern and southern slopes); and
- Johannesburg and surroundings.
Trails in the guidebook are classified either as a wildlife or nature hike/walk. A trail can be easy, moderately difficult or best suited for advanced hikers.
Custom-made Hiking Maps and Easy Trail Descriptions
The book provides easy to understand custom-made hiking maps and trail descriptions. Users of the book also have access to a unique collection of GPS E-trails.
Although most trails can be completed without a GPS device, owners of the book can download carefully recorded E-trails (1,136 waypoints) to maximize their time on the trail, exploring the hiking grounds using GPS devices and GPS enabled smartphones and tablets.
Advanced Planning Tools
Users of the book also have access to the Day Trip Finder and the Itinerary Planner. These interactive planning tools provide hikers easy access to trail descriptions based on many search criteria including waterfalls, historic sites, wildlife (zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, rhinos, etc.) and other interesting artifacts on the trail.
Next Generation Guidebook
The guidebook has been written with the independent traveler in mind but is also a valuable source of hiking ideas if you plan to organize your holiday with a travel company. Travelers will find South Africa: Hiking Trails in and Around Pretoria and Johannesburg and its multimedia resources an invaluable "next generation" resource guide to explore the region from a truly unique perspective.
The Hiking in South Africa Project
The guidebook was developed as part of a long-term effort to support sustainable tourism in South Africa. The goals of the project are:
- Promoting the hiking industry in South Africa and South Africa as a tourist destination;
- Promoting the cultural heritage of South Africa;
- Providing unbiased and accurate information about hiking trails (day trails only) in South Africa;
- Educating the public on hike safety in South Africa;
- Raising awareness of the beauty of the gorges (kloofs) and the importance of nature conservation;
- Providing visitors unique and sustainable ways of exploring the country;
- Producing a high quality and affordable hiking guide that is distributed internationally.
About the Authors
|Janet Katz is an international legal consultant who has worked extensively overseas after a career representing the U.S. government. She joins Gregory overseas when they do not reside in Washington, DC.
|Gregory Maassen, Ph.D., is a management professional who has implemented long-term economic development programs throughout the world. He was born in the Netherlands.
With the Cape Peninsula, Garden Route, Kruger Park and the Drakensberg Mountain Range, South Africa is a major tourist destination. Millions of tourists explore these magnificent places annually, bringing home memories of a beautiful and diverse country. Less known are the incredible national and municipal parks, numerous private nature reserves and the many small towns in the northern part of South Africa in and around Pretoria and Johannesburg that offer equally interesting experiences.
If you visit South Africa beyond the major tourist centers or if you live in the major metropolitan areas, you will be amazed what the country presents in terms of its people, culture, nature, wildlife sightings, hiking, walking, food, wine, local craft beers and entertainment.
Unknown to many, the nature reserves and wildlife parks in and around Pretoria and Johannesburg have outstanding hiking opportunities that can compete with other destinations in South Africa. The Magaliesberg Mountain Range (a World Biosphere Reserve), stretching from Pretoria to the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve, offers unlimited hiking and walking opportunities, B&Bs, farms, historic landmarks and nature reserves. The city of Pretoria is home to one of the largest municipal nature reserves in the world where you can walk with rhinos. Not far from the city center of Pretoria, you can walk unguided among giraffes, wildebeests and zebras.
Walking with Lions: What You Should Know
Sometimes, reserves and parks offer visitors the possibility to pet wildlife and even walk with lions. As we believe that lions and other carnivores are not pets, we refrain from participating in these activities. The lion cubs, once they have grown up with human and have a very low success rate of surviving in the wild and they may end up in the hands of trophy hunters in hunting farms after 6 months of age when they become too dangerous to handle. This practice is called canned or captive-bred hunting which, according to the WWF and other organizations, provides no conservation benefit.