The Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve near Midrand

The location of the Rietvlei Reserve

The Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve is perfectly nestled in the outer suburbs of Tshwane Pretoria, near Midrand. This relatively small yet magnificent nature reserve covers about 3800 hectares. Its landscape is characterized by the perfect mix of expansive pastures, small patches of woodlands and rolling hills that are tastefully decorated with lakes, streams and creeks. The Reserve has about 40 kilometres of well-maintained tar and dirt roads for game drives.

Game driving in Rietvlei Reserve

Zebras in Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Game drives are an absolute pleasure in the park because you can find many bird hides with toilets, and even a massive picnic spot with braai facilities along the way.

Buffalo in Rietvlei Nature Reserve

The Reserve is home for approximately 2000 head of large game, which mostly includes herbivores, like all the different type of bucks. Besides the Blesbuck, Black Wildebeest, Eland, Red Hartebeest, Springbok, Waterbuck and Zebras but name a few. But you can also find Buffalos, Hippos and even Rhinos here.

Blesbok in Rietvlei Nature Reserve

As for the predator populations in the reserve, if you are lucky enough, you might get a chance to take a glimpse at a Cheetah, Black-backed Jackal, Spotted Hyena, Serval, Yellow Mongoose or Meerkat. Additionally, the reserve also has a separate encloser for a handful of lions.

Black-backed Jackal in Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Rietvlei is a bird-watching paradise

Malachite Kingfisher in Rietvlei Nature Reserve

If you are an avid bird watcher, like me, you will never be bored in this game reserve. Some sources say that as many as over 400 species have been recorded in the park. On the other hand, other sources say that one can expect to encounter about 80 bird species during a few hours long game drive (which I believe is pretty awesome). Not bad for a leisurely game drive 30 minutes from the city, isn’t it?

Long-tailed Widowbird in Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Some of the most common birds are larks, guineafowls, bee-eaters, African Darters, chats, weavers, cormorants, ducks, egrets just to give you an idea. But you can also spot uncommon birds as well, such as the African Fish-Eagle, African Purple Swamphen, Cape Longclaw, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Desert Cisticola, Giant Kingfisher, Great Crested Grebe, Long-tailed Widowbird, Malachite Kingfisher, Martial Eagle, Northern Black Korhaan, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Secretarybird, Spike-heeled Lark to mention a few.

Giant Kingfisher in Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Other Activities in the Reserve

Additionally to game drives and bird hides, the park has a lot more to offer. For example, organised hiking tours, group game drives, braai in a picnic spot, freshwater fishing and even conferencing facilities.
I hope this teaser gave you a good idea about what you can expect from visiting the reserve. Alternatively, you can always visit their unofficial website for more information.

Find more activities around the Midrand area

Photo credit: Antal Ujvari