Welcome to the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, a serene and picturesque 128-hectare sanctuary conveniently located close to many options for accommodation in Pretoria. This reserve is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a wide range of nature trails and walks that cater to different levels of hikers.
If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll appreciate the several trails and walks of varying difficulty that the reserve has to offer. With easy-to-follow footpaths and clear signage, hikers are assured of a safe walk. However, it is always recommended to visit the reserve with a group and not alone.
The Faerie Glen reserve is a transitional zone between bankenveld (grassland) and sour bushveld (acacia veld), which makes it a unique ecosystem that supports a variety of plant and animal life. Visitors will be delighted to observe the national flower of South Africa – the Protea – which grows abundantly along the hillsides of the reserve.
One of the most notable features of the reserve is that it forms part of the 8km Moreleta Spruit Nature Trail. The perennial Moreleta Spruit flows through the reserve, which accounts for the abundant grassland and rich vegetation that you can enjoy here.
Birdwatchers will be thrilled to know that over 150 species of birds call Faerie Glen home, making it a prime location for birdwatching. Keep an eye out for the European Nightjar, African Black Duck, Brown-backed Honeybird, European Bee-eater, Cape Grassbird, Marsh Warbler, Crimson-breasted Shrike, and Village Weaver. If you’re lucky, you might get to see some of the rarer species, including the Corncrake and River Warbler.
In addition to the large variety of birdlife, the reserve is also home to rare trees and insects that will keep nature-lovers enthralled. Whether you’re a birdwatcher or a nature enthusiast, Faerie Glen Nature Reserve is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing day out in the great outdoors.
Popular Activities and Tourist Destinations Near Faerie Glen Nature Reserve
Aside from hiking and birdwatching, there are other activities and attractions that visitors can enjoy in and near the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve.
For those interested in history, the nearby Voortrekker Monument is a must-see attraction. This iconic monument was built to commemorate the Voortrekkers, who were early Dutch pioneers who migrated inland from the Cape Colony in the 1830s. The monument features a museum that tells the story of the Voortrekkers and their struggles to establish a new homeland in South Africa.
Another nearby attraction is the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, which is one of the largest shopping centres in South Africa. With over 500 stores, a cinema, and a variety of restaurants, Menlyn Park is the perfect place to spend a day shopping and dining.
For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Rietvlei Nature Reserve is another great destination to explore. The reserve spans over 3,800 hectares and is home to a variety of wildlife, including rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and various antelope species. Visitors can explore the reserve on foot, by bike, or on a game drive.
If you’re interested in cultural experiences, the nearby Freedom Park is a must-visit attraction. This national heritage site was established to honor the struggles and sacrifices of those who fought for freedom and democracy in South Africa. The park features a museum, a library, and a monument that commemorates those who died in the struggle for freedom.
For those seeking adventure, the nearby Adventure Zone Cullinan offers a range of exciting activities, including ziplining, abseiling, and quad biking. The Adventure Zone is situated in the historic town of Cullinan, which is known for its diamond mining history and is home to the famous Cullinan Diamond Mine.
If you’re looking for an adventure beyond the land and want to explore the depths of the ocean, look no further than Scuba Crew in Pretoria. Located just a short distance from the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, Scuba Crew offers PADI-certified SCUBA diving courses for beginners as well as advanced divers.
Through their Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course, newbies can learn the basics of breathing and moving underwater in a safe and controlled environment in a swimming pool. Once you have mastered the skills, you can take the open water certification and head out to explore the sea.
The waters around South Africa are home to a diverse range of marine life, including colourful reefs, schools of fish, anemones, and even sharks and seals. Scuba Crew organizes trips to various diving locations in South Africa, including Mozambique, Sodwana, and Umkomaas, where you can experience the thrill of diving in some of the most beautiful and fascinating underwater landscapes in the world.
For more experienced divers, Scuba Crew offers advanced courses such as Adventure/Advanced Diver, Master Diver, Specialty Diver (such as wreck diving), Divemaster, and career development courses. With worldwide PADI accreditation, your diving certification with Scuba Crew can be used anywhere in the world.
Aside from diving, there are plenty of other activities and tourist attractions near the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve. Visit the nearby Pretoria National Botanical Garden to see the beautiful collection of indigenous plants and birds. The Union Buildings, which serve as the official seat of the South African government, are also worth a visit for their stunning architecture and beautiful gardens.
For those interested in history, the Voortrekker Monument is a must-see attraction. This massive granite monument honors the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony in the 1800s in search of new lands and was built to commemorate their contribution to South Africa’s cultural heritage.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, head to the nearby Groenkloof Nature Reserve where you can hike, mountain bike, or even try your hand at abseiling or rock climbing. With so much to see and do, the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve and its surrounding areas offer something for everyone.
Market On Main
The Market on Main in Pretoria is a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists looking to experience the vibrant culture and creativity of South Africa. Located just a short drive from Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, the market is situated in the heart of the city and offers a fantastic shopping and dining experience.
The market is known for showcasing the goods of local designers and crafters who share a passion for the beauty, diversity, and talent within the borders of this multifaceted country. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of goods, from high-fashion handbags made from authentic African textiles to colourful ties for any occasion, flourless Nutella brownies, unique perfumes, and glamorous leather goods.
In addition to the diverse selection of goods, the market also boasts an array of local and specialty foods, making it the perfect spot to come hungry. Visitors can indulge in delicious Mozambique prawns, tender prego rolls, banting-friendly sweets, cocktails, and craft beers.
Families with children are also catered to, with plenty of things to see and do to keep everyone entertained. The Market on Main is open every Saturday from 10h00 to 15h00, with an entrance fee of R20 per person. Parking is available at the State Theatre or at 216 Sisulu Street.
This market is part of an urban renewal project that has made massive strides in creating a city space that is fun, safe, and abuzz with all things trendy. By drawing people back to the city centre, the market is giving them hundreds of reasons to fall in love with the urban heart of Pretoria all over again.
Leaky Tap Brewery
Apart from the stunning natural surroundings, Faerie Glen Nature Reserve also offers visitors various other attractions to explore, including Leaky Tap Brewery. The brewery was started by four school friends who had a passion for craft beer and a dream to start their own brewery. Today, their dream has become a reality in Gauteng.
Leaky Tap Brewery is the proud creator of the first craft beer in Centurion and the first golden ale in Pretoria. The brewery prides itself on creating innovative beers that enchant the taste buds and inspire creative beer drinkers to new heights. The range of beers includes Leaky Tap Golden Ale, Red Ant Irish Red Ale, and MoBro Lager, each with its unique flavour profile.
The Leaky Tap Golden Ale is a pale ale with a slightly fruity finish and is widely available in restaurants across Gauteng. The Red Ant Irish Red Ale is a gorgeous red-tinted beer with a caramel malt and roast grain flavour, making it perfect for any weather. The MoBro Lager is a refreshing and delicious beer that is described as a real South African Lager.
Leaky Tap Brewery is conveniently located in the heart of Gauteng, making it easily accessible to both locals and visitors. The brewery is often present at markets and festivals where visitors can sample their beers and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.
In addition to the Leaky Tap Brewery, visitors to Faerie Glen Nature Reserve can also enjoy a range of other activities, such as the Market on Main in Pretoria. The market is a hub of local designers and crafters who showcase their goods, including high-fashion handbags made from authentic African textiles, colourful ties for any occasion, flourless Nutella brownies, unique perfumes, and glamorous leather goods.
Local and speciality foods abound, and visitors are invited to come hungry and indulge in rich Mozambique prawns, tender prego rolls, banting-friendly sweets, cocktails, and craft beers. The Market on Main is part of an urban renewal project, creating a city space that is fun, safe and abuzz with all things trendy.
Visitors can also enjoy a delicious meal at Steak-Inn Grill & Butcher, where they raise the bar for the traditional South African steakhouse. With a fantastic view of the nearby lake, visitors can enjoy perfectly prepared, super-aged meat and fresh sauces to accompany the succulent steaks and other meat dishes. Children are catered for with a specially designed menu, and visitors can settle back and enjoy a perfect steak with a gorgeous bottle of wine.
Steak-Inn Grill & Butcher
In addition to the natural beauty and outdoor activities in Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, there are also great options for dining and enjoying delicious South African cuisine. One such place is Steak-Inn Grill & Butcher, located at The Boardwalk Centre in Faerie Glen.
The restaurant offers a unique dining experience, with stunning views of the nearby lake during the day and a romantic ambiance in the evenings with the moonlight shimmering on the water. But what sets Steak-Inn apart is their commitment to quality meat.
Their menu boasts super-aged meat, all prepared to absolute perfection, accompanied by delicious and fresh sauces. The meat is sourced locally and prepared in-house by their skilled butchers. Steak-Inn prides itself on their South African beef and offers a variety of cuts to meet any taste and preference. They also have a selection of seafood, pasta, and poultry dishes for those who want to try something different.
Children are also catered for with a specially designed menu, making Steak-Inn an ideal spot for a family dinner. And of course, what’s a perfect steak without a good bottle of wine? Steak-Inn has an extensive wine list that pairs well with their dishes.
Overall, Steak-Inn Grill & Butcher is a must-visit for meat lovers and foodies visiting Faerie Glen. Their emphasis on quality and attention to detail makes them stand out as one of the best steak houses in the area.
The Faerie Glen Nature Reserve and its surrounding areas offer a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to all types of visitors. From nature walks and birdwatching to shopping, dining, and cultural experiences, there is something for everyone to enjoy in and near this beautiful nature reserve.