As incredible as Kruger National Park is, it's not the only attraction that South Africa has to offer. Most international visitors also visit the Cape, sometimes extending to the Garden Route and a few more lucky visitors have heard about KwaZulu Natal (I will post more on that province sometime in the future...)
Johannesburg is definitely NOT seen as a destination, but rather a gateway to the north and eastern reaches of South Africa.
Those of us who live here know differently.
Two weekends ago my friend Rose invited me along to explore a small section of the Magaliesberg. We tried some new things and I refreshed my memories of a particularly beautiful part of our country.
The Magaliesberg are a range of hills stretching from east to west for quite a long way, just north of Pretoria. They are a dividing range in many ways – south is the highveld, north is the bushveld, south is “gold” country, north is “platinum” country...
The flora in this part of the world is a weird mix of montane protea bushes and cabbage trees with more common bushveld trees such as Buffalo Thorn, acacias and beautiful aloes. It was interesting to note that spring obviously arrived later here than on the Mpumulanga escarpment much further east – possibly due to a much lower annual rainfall.
Our base for the two days was a small Nature reserve, located halfway up a northern slope, which is known for it's walking trails and spectacular views. We didn't have enough energy to do any of the really long hikes but we spent some time exploring the streams that ran down on both sides of our ridge.
There are many small, perennial streams, tumbling their way down the hill sides over rocky ledges and pools, and cutting through defiles like the one where the “canopy tour” is located.
From a wildlife perspective, the largest animals we saw were baboons, but we found some fascinating smaller creatures on our walks. The bird life was also wonderful especially in the relative lushness of the camp.
On our first morning we did the Magaliesberg Canopy Tour. (http://www.magaliescanopytour.co.za/).
This is one of six in South Africa and one of the oldest. It is situated in a long, narrow and deep ravine in the hills.
Wow!! This was my first canopy tour, and I'm hooked!
Along with the great walks, stunning scenery and a multitude of other activities to do in the area, this was a perfect weekend getaway, and somewhere that I will definitely return to soon........
Thank you Rose!