Is a place of special beauty, an escape into a mountain range of great natural appeal and an ideal destination to take tourists or out of town visitors for a day visit. Day visitors are welcome to enjoy the self-drive route on tarred roads which links a number of picnic sites and viewpoints. NB: There are no bookings for Group Camp, Cottages and Board Room at the moment; until further notice • Access to the waterfalls is restricted; reserved strictly for overnight hikers • Motorbikes are not allowed in the reserve
It is situated above the town of Rustenburg across a varied habitat of quartzite mountain peaks and vleis on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg. This 5 300 ha reserve offers a unique nature experience to all who seek to venture into the wilderness areas of the North West Province. Rustenburg is just one hour from either Johannesburg or Pretoria providing a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the diversity of nature and scenic beauty, so conveniently close. Access to the reserve is via Helen Joseph Road travelling west out of Rustenburg, following signs to the main entrance gate.
The principal vlei which traverses the central portion of the reserve is the largest of its kind in the Magaliesberg and is an important catchment area at the headwaters of the Hex River. The reserve hosts a population of over 800 antelope, including klipspringer, grey duiker, bushbuck, kudu, oribi, mountain reedbuck, impala, red hartebeest, zebra, springbok, steenbok, sable antelope and waterbuck. The reserve is famous for the breeding herd of sable antelope which are particularly well suited to the environment. Small numbers of predators, including caracal, aardwolf, black-backed jackal and leopard also occur.
Varied birdlife of over 320 species have been recorded including a breeding colony of cape vultures. Nesting pairs of martial and black eagles are also of great interest.
The reserve caters for a wide range of interests and is famous as a hiking destination. Two trails are open to the public. These overnight trails are extremely popular and early booking is essential.
The Summit Route is 25,3km and, for the first time, includes Natural Pools in which swimming is permitted. The Baviaanskrans Route is 19,5km and includes the Waterfall View and the Garden of Remembrance. The trails have amenities to accommodate 12 hikers. The Peglarae Trail is a day excursion of approximately 5,5km over fairly steep and rocky terrain. The shorter Vlei ramble, just 2km, takes visitors to a viewing hut on the vlei – a favourite spot for the many birders who enjoy the reserve.