TAKE A HIKE
go! - South Africa|October/November 2020
TAKE A HIKE
Trees, butterflies and sunny skies
FIONA MCINTOSH

Bateleur Nature Reserve is a private protected area in theWaterberg Biosphere, a two-hour drive from Pretoria. The reserve is in a natural depression surrounded by hills – an isolated basin with a real wilderness feeling. Its grasslands, rocky cliffs and deep gorges are home to plains game, numerous birds, butterflies and a diverse flora. More than a hundred tree species have been recorded, and nearly as many birds and butterflies.

Other than the occasional overhead passenger plane, you’ll see no lights and you’ll hear no vehicles.

With nine different, well-marked trails, hikers are spoilt for choice. Our pick for reasonably fit day hikers is the circular 9 km Escarpment Trail.

After picking up your permit and trail map at reception (a 4km drive from the entrance), continue for another 2 km to Stamvrug Base Camp, named after the stamvrug tree, or Transvaal milkplum, which has bright red, cherry-sized fruit that grows directly from the stem after rain. Look out for secretarybirds here and in the surrounding grassland.

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October/November 2020