Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, located in Gauteng, South Africa, is a hidden gem that offers visitors a chance to explore the rich history and natural beauty of the area. Not only is it a World Heritage Site, but it is also of major historical significance as people have lived here since the Stone Age and the ridges are estimated to be 2.9 billion years old.
The nature reserve is divided into three sections, the first of which is a 60 hectare area that is open to the public only on Sundays. The Westdene Ridge, an area of 100 hectares, and the Louw Geldenhuys viewsite, a 10 hectare area, are also open to visitors.
One of the unique features of Melville Koppies is that it is located in close proximity to Johannesburg’s trendy suburbs and the city center, making it easily accessible for visitors. Additionally, socialized dogs on leads are welcome on Melville Koppies West and East, but not permitted on Melville Koppies Central as it is a proclaimed Heritage Site.
Popular Activities and Tourist Destinations near Melville Koppies
In addition to the natural beauty and historical significance of Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, visitors can also enjoy a variety of activities and attractions in the surrounding area. One popular destination is Xai-Xai Lounge, located on the trendy 7th Street in Melville.
Xai-Xai, named after a Mozambican beach resort, is a cozy venue that is often packed with young, trendy students and celebrities, as well as regular visitors of Melville. The atmosphere is laid-back and beach-like, with an array of visually stimulating pictures and posters lit up by multi-colored hanging lights. The tables are dimly lit by melting candles positioned in old brown beer bottles, creating a feeling of pure relaxation.
The lounge is known for its original cocktails and shooters concocted by the laid-back barmen, and it’s a great place to spend an evening indulging in the atmosphere and drinks. It’s a popular spot to enjoy the “Jozi way” and experience the nightlife and culture of the city.
For visitors who want to experience a taste of Mozambican culture, Xai-Xai Lounge is a must-visit. With its beach-like atmosphere and delicious drinks, it’s the perfect way to end a day of exploring Melville Koppies and the surrounding area.
The Ant Cafe
For visitors looking to experience the lively and trendy atmosphere of Johannesburg, a visit to the Ant Café in Melville is a must. This is the longest-running restaurant in 7th Street, and it remains a popular destination for those looking for some of the best pizza in Johannesburg. The rustic décor is a fusion of classic Italian with strong grungy and bohemian influences, creating a unique and welcoming space.
The Ant Café is a popular spot among students and tourists alike, and the vibe is palpable. The coffee is made using locally sourced beans, and the restaurant is licensed, making it the perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine. In cold Gauteng winters, visitors can enjoy a comforting glass of glühwein by the fire side. The menu includes more than just pizza, there are also other dishes to try.
The interior of the Ant Café is dark and rebellious, with grungy indie music playing to set the scene. There is also an outdoor area for those wanting to watch the locals and students going about their daily routine, providing a real taste of the diversity and vibe of a cosmopolitan metropolis in South Africa.
Due to the popularity of the Ant Café, it is essential to book a table in advance, even on weeknights. This is a great spot to enjoy some delicious food and drinks and experience the Boho chic style and intellectual atmosphere of Melville and the University of Johannesburg.
27 Boxes Night Market
Melville Koppies is not just a natural reserve, it also offers a variety of activities and tourist attractions for visitors to enjoy. One popular destination is the 27 Boxes Night Market, which takes place every Wednesday from 5pm to 9pm. Located in the heart of Melville, this market is a great way to unwind after a long work week or to kick off the weekend early.
The market is set up in a trendy space created by recycled shipping containers and features around 80 different vendors. Visitors can indulge in delicious gourmet creations such as red velvet cupcakes, steamed dim sum, authentic tacos, or handmade cheeses. The craft stalls offer a fun mix of handmade leather goods, succulents, fashion items in striking colors, and loads of accessories and other keepsakes.
Live music also plays in the background, providing the perfect background for a night out with friends and giving local musicians a chance to perform in a creative and vibrant space. The 27 Boxes Night Market is a pet-friendly event, so visitors can bring along their furry friends and enjoy the market together. Entrance is free, and the market is conveniently located just 25 minutes from Sandton and less than an hour from OR Tambo International Airport.
The area surrounding the 27 Boxes Night Market is also great for visitors looking for a night out on the town, with plenty of quirky watering holes and restaurants to choose from. In addition, Melville is home to many other tourist attractions such as the all-day breakfast, brunch and juice spot Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar which offers a delicious Middle Eastern flavor and innovative juices.
Pablo Eggs-Go Bar
In addition to the natural beauty of Melville Koppies, the suburb of Melville also offers a variety of dining and entertainment options for visitors. One popular spot is the Xai-Xai Lounge, a cozy venue known for its original cocktails and laid-back atmosphere. The Ant Café is another popular destination, offering delicious pizza and a unique rustic-Bohemian atmosphere. For those looking for a hearty breakfast, brunch, or juice spot, Pablo Eggs Go Bar is a must-visit. The restaurant serves up scrumptious Middle Eastern-inspired dishes, as well as a selection of innovative juices and cocktails. With its stunning dishes and unique flavors, Pablo Eggs Go Bar is a trendy spot that is perfect for the whole family.
For those looking for a more laid-back dining option, Pablo Eggs Go Bar also has a take-away menu for those on the run.
Overall, Melville Koppies and the surrounding area offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy, including nature, food and drink, and arts and culture. From the natural beauty of Melville Koppies to the eclectic dining options in the suburb, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you’re interested in history, nature or simply looking for a peaceful escape, Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is a must-see destination in South Africa. With its beautiful landscape, rich history and abundance of wildlife, it’s the perfect place to explore and create unforgettable memories.