Monday , 27 March 2017
South Africa Blog / Tag Archives: johannesburg

Tag Archives: johannesburg

Explore Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

Explore Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

In the heart of the Johannesburg area of Emmarentia is the picturesque Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, which combines natural abundance with a fascinating insight into prehistoric South Africa. While the Gauteng Province is most often thought of in terms of its commercial, industrial and retail wealth, it is also home to a number of natural treasures, and Melville Koppies is certainly one of these.

Melville Koppies comprises the last conserved remains of the Johannesburg ridges, the rest of which were destroyed by mining for gold in the late 19th century. The reserve occupies about 150 hectares of unspoiled, even wild, countryside. The rock formations are estimated to be three billion years old and stone tools that were found here indicate that mankind occupied the region some 500 000 years ago. This gives the entire area a poignant ambience that is deeply haunting and special. Melville Koppies Central has been declared a Heritage Site.

Today, the area is sensitive, and it is essential that it is conserved carefully and responsibly. As a result, visitors are invited to experience its splendour without leaving their mark. Therefore, no braais, picnics, vehicles, generators, electricity, shops or sound systems are permitted. These restrictions go a long way in maintaining the integrity and tranquillity of Melville Koppies Nature Reserve.

There are hiking trails through the reserve, which are fantastic ways to see the beauty without impacting too much on the surrounds. The hikes are fairly strenuous, though, and require that hikers are fairly fit and have some experience. They are certainly not suitable for little ones, the elderly, or those with physical pain or challenges. No mountain biking is permitted in Melville Koppies Nature Reserve.

All of the flora found in the reserve is indigenous to South Africa, and testifies to the magnificent variety to be found within the borders of this glorious country. There are trees and Highveld grasses, as well as flowers. Some of the wild flowers bloom only in spring, creating a rug of colours, textures and scents.

The geology of the region is, undoubtedly, one of its major appeals. The Kaapvaal Craton, upon which the reserve lies, is about 3.5 billion years old and extends for about 1.2 million square kilometres under Southern Africa. It is one of the earliest parts of Earth’s crust. As the mountains weathered over millions of years, they broke down into massive river deltas. These sediments built up in layers and eventually became different kind stone; including shale, quartzite and siltstone. It is at the base of these solidified sediments that Melville Koppies lies.

Thanks to its variety, which makes for a range of habitats, the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is also home to many different animal species, including an impressive selection of birds. In fact, bird ringers frequent this reserve to conduct their work in quiet, peaceful surrounds. Some of the bird species found here include the crowned plover, pipit, warbler, wailing cisticola, malachite kingfisher, tawny flanked prinia, Cape longclaw, crimson breasted shrike, eagle owl and laughing dove. In fact, there are about 185 species that can be enjoyed by avid bird-watchers. In addition, there are a number of other animals in the nature reserve. Some of these are the African hedgehog, slender mongoose, African civet, rock elephant shrew, leopard tortoise, lesser spotted genet, scrub hare and Jameson’s red rock rabbit, as well as a number of snakes.

Thanks to such abundance and diversity, the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is an idyllic spot for nature lovers, corporate groups and photographers to immerse themselves in the unspoilt, wild face of Africa.

Website: http://www.mk.org.za/

What Sandton has to Offer

What Sandton has to Offer

Sandton is known as Africa’s richest square mile and is, without a doubt, Johannesburg’s shopping and commercial epicentre. Since the 1980’s, Sandton has experienced an exponential growth and development to become one of today’s most vibrant and exciting destinations – not only in Johannesburg, but in Gauteng as a province. It is centrally situated, and is accessible from all major centres, including OR Tambo International Airport; the launching pad of the vast majority of tourists to South Africa.

There are a number of facets to the allure and popularity of Sandton’s Attractions. It has so much to offer, no matter what visitors prefer. Here are some of the features that modern Sandton has to offer locals and tourists alike … Read More »

Exploring Soweto

Exploring Soweto

Soweto (a shortened version of South Western Townships) has recently become an urban suburb of the City of Johannesburg. Although previously a separate municipality, Soweto has always played a major role in the history, identity and character of Johannesburg and Gauteng. Today, it is still a hub of excitement and a veritable tourist hotspot, representing much of the colour and diversity of South Africa as a nation.

Soweto was one of the first of the segregationist planning processes in Gauteng, and was positioned about 20 kilometres from the City of Johannesburg. These homes were established to accommodate the black labourers that worked mainly in the local mines. These ones were not permitted to live in the city centre or formal neighbourhoods, and all non-white folk were forced to occupy the informal settlements further afield. Forced removals in the 1950’s meant that many non-white folk lost their family homes and were sent with nothing to the outlying regions of the city. Soon, these communities grew and grew, and eventually developed their own culture and society. A large part of this new social norm was based on the political and societal upheavals experienced. Today, there are well over one million residents in Soweto. Read More »

Things to Do in Johannesburg on a Sunny Day

Things to Do in Johannesburg on a Sunny Day

Johannesburg, the City of Gold, boasts magnificent summers that are characterised by hot, dry mornings, refreshing afternoon thundershowers and clear, warm evenings. These are best enjoyed by those that love the outdoors and want to sample the beauty of South Africa in a very real, personal way.

There are plenty of local attractions in and around Johannesburg that are ideally suited to those that love the outdoors or that want to take advantage of the beautiful weather that graces Gauteng. For those that want to indulge in the glorious outdoors of this country.

Here are some of our top choices of things to do in Johannesburg on a Sunny Day… Read More »

Top 7 Coffee Shops in Johannesburg

Top 7 Coffee Shops in Johannesburg

Johannesburg offers so much in terms of things to do and see. In fact, it is one of South Africa’s busiest tourist hotspots, as well as the commercial and entertainment centre of the country. But, even the most seasoned tourist and shopaholic needs (deserves, even) a coffee break. Make yours an event in its own right by opting for one of Jozi’s best coffee spots … Read More »