Nestled in the picturesque Crocodile River Valley, a mere 40-minute drive south of Johannesburg, lies a haven of natural wonders known as the Oori Nature Reserve. Derived from the Tswana word for “Crocodile,” Oori Nature Reserve is a testament to the harmonious coexistence between humans and the environment.
Stretching across a sprawling area of approximately 750 hectares, the reserve comprises around 40 properties that have embraced a philosophy of unity with nature. In a remarkable effort to restore the land to its former glory, internal fencing has been removed, allowing wildlife to roam freely and uninterrupted. The southern and eastern boundaries of the reserve are formed by the Crocodile River, historically referred to as the Oori River by the Tswana people.
Breaking free from the notion that human settlements come at the expense of the environment, the conservancy at Oori Nature Reserve strives to reverse this trend. With each reintroduction of game species, replanting of trees, and release of bird species, the reserve takes another step towards reclaiming its natural heritage.
Situated within the transitional zone between grassland and bushveld, known as Bankenveld, Oori Nature Reserve enchants visitors with its rolling countryside and rocky ridges predominantly made of dolomite. These geological features provide a protective barrier against wildfires, ensuring the survival of the diverse flora and fauna that call this place home.
Immersing oneself in the wonders of Oori Nature Reserve offers an unforgettable experience. The reserve has already welcomed the introduction of 52 animal species, enriching its ecological tapestry. As residents diligently plant indigenous plants and trees, particularly around their dwellings, they actively contribute to preserving the existing ecosystems.
Nature enthusiasts who venture to Oori Nature Reserve are rewarded with breathtaking vistas and an abundance of wildlife sightings. Embark on a leisurely hike through the reserve’s enchanting trails, where the soothing sounds of nature provide a symphony for the senses. Keep your eyes peeled for graceful antelope gracefully grazing, mischievous monkeys playing in the treetops, and a vibrant array of bird species soaring through the sky.
For those seeking tranquility, Oori Nature Reserve offers idyllic picnic spots, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the serene ambiance while enjoying a leisurely meal. The lush surroundings and gentle rustling of leaves create an atmosphere of pure relaxation, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Popular activities and attractions at Treasures of Oori Nature Reserve
Oori Nature Reserve, with its stunning natural landscapes and rich biodiversity, offers an array of activities and attractions to satisfy the adventurous spirit of every visitor. Let’s delve into the various experiences that await you within and near this remarkable sanctuary.
Guided Wildlife Safaris
Embark on an exhilarating guided safari through the heart of Oori Nature Reserve. Knowledgeable guides will lead you on an unforgettable journey, where you can spot a diverse range of wildlife, including graceful giraffes, majestic zebras, elusive leopards, and a host of other captivating creatures. Learn about the fascinating behaviors and adaptations of these animals as you witness them in their natural habitat.
Nature Walks and Hiking Trails
Lace up your boots and set off on a leisurely nature walk or hike along the reserve’s well-marked trails. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and scents of the wilderness as you explore the rolling countryside, meandering rivers, and rocky ridges. Keep an eye out for unique plant species and the incredible birdlife that thrives in this pristine environment.
Oori Nature Reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with its diverse avian population. Grab your binoculars and embark on a birdwatching expedition to catch a glimpse of resident and migratory bird species. From vibrant sunbirds to regal eagles, the reserve offers countless opportunities to observe and appreciate the winged wonders of the region.
With its breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and vibrant flora, Oori Nature Reserve provides endless opportunities for photographers to capture the essence of nature’s beauty. Whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned professional, the reserve’s captivating scenes will inspire you to create stunning images that will be cherished for years to come.
Picnic Spots and Relaxation
Find a tranquil spot amidst the natural splendor of Oori Nature Reserve and indulge in a relaxing picnic. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the soothing sounds of nature, and savor a delightful meal surrounded by the lush greenery. It’s the perfect way to unwind and connect with your surroundings.
While exploring the Oori Nature Reserve, take the opportunity to visit nearby attractions that enhance your experience. Just a short distance away, you’ll find the awe-inspiring Magaliesberg Mountains, offering spectacular hiking trails, magnificent viewpoints, and ancient rock formations. The nearby town of Hartbeespoort Dam beckons with its charming markets, boat cruises, and the fascinating Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway, providing panoramic views of the area.
Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the nearby Lesedi Cultural Village. Here, you can learn about the traditions, customs, and history of various South African tribes through interactive experiences, traditional dances, and authentic cuisine. It’s a captivating journey into the vibrant tapestry of South African heritage.
Shepherd’s Fold Stables
Nestled in the picturesque Elandsdrift Valley, near Muldersdrift in Gauteng, Shepherd’s Fold Stables offers a captivating horse riding experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the scenic wonders of the area. Located in close proximity to the renowned Cradle of Humankind and within easy reach of Fourways, Krugersdorp, and Honeydew, these stables provide a convenient escape from city life.
Trail Rides for All
Whether you are an experienced rider or a novice, Shepherd’s Fold Stables offers a range of trail ride options to suit riders of every level. With well-trained and experienced horses at your disposal, you can embark on a fabulous trail ride that takes you through a diverse landscape, including rivers, bird sanctuaries, and bushveld. It’s an opportunity to witness nature at its best while forging a special bond with these majestic creatures.
At Shepherd’s Fold Stables, your safety and enjoyment are paramount. Each trail ride is carefully supervised by an experienced staff member who ensures that you have a memorable and secure riding experience. For those who may require additional guidance, grooms are available to lead the way, offering extra support and reassurance.
Scenic Routes and Stunning Views
As you embark on your horseback adventure at Shepherd’s Fold Stables, you will traverse enchanting routes that wind through neighboring farms, revealing breathtaking views of Johannesburg, the majestic Magaliesberg Mountains, and the nearby Cradle of Humankind. Take a moment to pause and soak in the panoramic vistas, capturing the beauty of the landscape as it unfolds before you.
Trail Ride Options
Shepherd’s Fold Stables offers a range of trail ride durations to suit your preferences and schedule. Choose from 1-hour, 1.5-hour, or 2-hour rides, allowing you to tailor your experience to fit your desired level of exploration and leisure.
A Welcoming Environment for All
Whether you are a seasoned equestrian or have never ridden before, Shepherd’s Fold Stables warmly welcomes riders of all abilities. The stables are equipped to accommodate up to 10 riders at a time, ensuring personalized attention and a comfortable experience for each participant. So, whether you’re seeking a thrilling adventure or a peaceful escape into nature, Shepherd’s Fold Stables is ready to cater to your needs.
Unleash your inner adventurer and embark on a horseback journey through the captivating landscapes surrounding Shepherd’s Fold Stables. With well-trained horses, knowledgeable staff, and breathtaking views, this equestrian haven promises an unforgettable experience for riders of all levels. Discover the joy of exploring nature from the back of a horse, as Shepherd’s Fold Stables opens up a world of adventure and connection with the magnificent outdoors.
AirVentures Hot Air Ballooning
Africa, a land of adventure and discovery, is known for its breathtaking landscapes and captivating wildlife. And there’s no better way to experience these wonders than from the heights of a classic hot air balloon. AirVentures offers an extraordinary opportunity to soar above Muldersdrift’s picturesque vistas in beautifully crafted balloons, evoking the essence of African cultures in their design.
Step into the woven basket of an AirVentures hot air balloon and prepare to be enchanted. The pilots exude the old-world charm and elegance reminiscent of colonial safaris, creating an atmosphere of romance and nostalgia. As the balloon gently ascends, you’ll witness Africa unfold beneath you in all its glory.
Cradle of Humankind: As the only balloon operator permitted to offer full flight experiences over the Cradle of Humankind, AirVentures provides an exclusive opportunity to witness this UNESCO World Heritage Site from an extraordinary vantage point. Glide over private game reserves and witness the untouched allure of this exquisite wilderness, offering a captivating blend of nature and history.
Magaliesberg: Prepare to be awestruck as you embark on a hot air balloon flight over the majestic Magaliesberg Mountain Range. These ancient peaks, standing tall for millions of years, offer a dramatic backdrop for your journey. Marvel at the rich diversity of fauna and flora that call this mountainous region home, creating a tapestry of natural beauty that unfolds beneath your drifting balloon.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana: AirVentures presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the Okavango Delta, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, from the unique perspective of a hot air balloon. With exclusive rights to cover this iconic destination, you’ll float above winding waterways and picturesque islands, witnessing the harmonious dance of wildlife below. Observe herds of animals moving in unspoken choreography, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle of nature’s wonders.
An AirVentures hot air balloon tour is more than just a journey through the sky—it’s a celebration of the essence of Africa. Feel the crisp air at altitude, relish an uninterrupted view of the land, and experience the exhilarating freedom of soaring through the air. It’s an adventure that engages all your senses, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.
So, embrace the allure of the skies and embark on a remarkable hot air balloon adventure with AirVentures. Let the breathtaking landscapes, rich wildlife, and unparalleled views create an unforgettable experience that will forever hold a place in your heart.
Fly-Fishing at Kloofzicht Lodge
Nestled within the breathtaking Oori Nature Reserve, Kloofzicht Lodge offers a tranquil escape where six exquisite fly-fishing dams and the meandering Blaauwbank Spruit invite you to immerse yourself in the art of fly-fishing. As you cast your line against the backdrop of dramatic scenery, surrounded by untouched natural vegetation and abundant wildlife, you’ll discover a world of relaxation and serenity.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice seeking a new adventure, Kloofzicht Lodge provides a fly-fishing experience of a lifetime. The diverse range of fish species, including trout, bass, carp, and the elusive yellow fish, promises hours of entertainment and the perfect opportunity to unwind amidst the tranquility of nature.
The lodge’s idyllic location in Mulderdrift sets the stage for an unforgettable fishing excursion. Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of the dams, where the elusive trout dart beneath the surface, challenging your angling skills. Feel the thrill of reeling in a bass as it puts up a spirited fight, or try your luck with the wily carp, testing your patience and finesse.
For those seeking a unique and exciting challenge, the yellow fish offers an exhilarating pursuit. Known for their strength and speed, these elusive beauties will put your skills to the test, providing a memorable experience that will leave you longing to return.
Beyond the joys of fly-fishing, Kloofzicht Lodge offers a range of amenities and activities to enhance your stay. Indulge in the lodge’s luxurious accommodations, designed to provide comfort and tranquility amidst the rugged beauty of the reserve. Take leisurely strolls along the scenic nature trails, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the surrounding wilderness.
Nature enthusiasts will delight in the abundant wildlife that calls this area home. Keep an eye out for graceful antelope, mischievous monkeys, and a plethora of bird species that add a touch of vibrancy to the landscape. Capture these magical moments with your camera, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
As the sun sets, relax by the fireside and share stories of your fishing adventures with fellow enthusiasts. Savor delicious meals crafted from fresh, locally sourced ingredients, complemented by fine wines, creating a gastronomic experience that delights the senses.
Kloofzicht Lodge and its enchanting fly-fishing opportunities offer a sanctuary for nature lovers, avid anglers, and those seeking a serene escape from the demands of everyday life. Whether you seek the thrill of the catch or simply desire to reconnect with nature, this oasis within Oori Nature Reserve promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you rejuvenated and yearning for more.
In the heart of the enchanting Oori Nature Reserve, Gilroy’s Brewery awaits, offering a unique and entertaining beer tasting experience. Led by the charismatic Steve Gilroy, this experience is a humorous exploration of the myths, legends, and secrets behind the art of beer brewing. Prepare to have your senses awakened as you learn about the creation process, inhale the delightful aroma of hops, sample the grains, and delve into the world of brewing. All of this is accompanied by the opportunity to savor Gilroy’s award-winning beers, ensuring a truly enjoyable and educational experience.
Gilroy’s Brewery is renowned for its commitment to crafting hand-crafted beers that epitomize the natural essence of quality brewing. Each beer is meticulously brewed using the finest ingredients, resulting in a range of flavors to suit every palate and occasion. Whether you’re seeking a refreshing ale or a satisfying lager, Gilroy’s Brewery has you covered.
For those in search of a well-balanced and naturally carbonated brew, the Premium Lager is an excellent choice. Matured for an impressive eight weeks, this lager exhibits a great body and a satisfying, long-lasting finish. It’s a testament to the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into every Gilroy’s beer.
If you prefer a lighter option, Gilroy’s Favourite is a superb light ale that offers a dry finish, making it incredibly easy to drink. This ale is perfect for those looking for a refreshing and approachable beer that still maintains the distinctive Gilroy’s quality.
For a taste of tradition, the Gilroy’s Traditional beer is a classic ruby ale that captures the essence of Gilroy’s brewing heritage. With its robust flavor profile and satisfyingly smooth finish, this ale is a true testament to the artistry and expertise of the brewery.
For those seeking a more adventurous flavor experience, Gilroy’s Serious is a brew that invites you to savor every sip. This rich and strong ale boasts a deep ruby shade and reveals layers of complex flavors that unfold with each taste. It’s a beer that demands attention and promises a memorable drinking experience.
Beyond the exceptional beer tasting, Gilroy’s Brewery offers a charming atmosphere where you can relax, unwind, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Oori Nature Reserve. Take in the picturesque surroundings, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the tranquility that accompanies a visit to this remarkable destination.
Whether you’re a beer enthusiast, a curious novice, or simply someone who appreciates the finer things in life, Gilroy’s Brewery promises an experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the art of brewing. Join Steve Gilroy on this captivating journey as you discover the secrets of beer and enjoy the delightful flavors of Gilroy’s Award-Winning Beers.
Garden World Tea Garden
Nestled within the picturesque Oori Nature Reserve, Garden World Tea Garden offers a delightful culinary escape for visitors exploring the nursery in Muldersdrift. Whether you’re seeking garden supplies or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll through the arts and crafts market, make sure to take a break and experience the gastronomic delights of the Tea Garden. Surrounded by serene outdoor settings, you can treat yourself to a delectable farm-house breakfast or sample a range of freshly baked goods, toasted sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs.
The Tea Garden at Garden World is not only a haven for food enthusiasts but also a charming venue for special occasions. Celebrate joyous events such as Stork parties, Kitchen teas, or Children’s parties in the enchanting ambiance of the Tea Garden. Children will be delighted by the playground and animal farmyard, keeping them entertained while you relax and savor the flavors of your meal.
With a fully licensed establishment, the Tea Garden offers a selection of beverages to complement your dining experience. Whether you prefer a refreshing iced tea, a glass of fine wine, or a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, the attentive waitstaff is ready to serve you with warm hospitality.
During weekends and public holidays, you can enjoy the convenience of waiter service, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time at the Tea Garden without any worries. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the outdoor seating area, surrounded by lush greenery and the natural beauty of the reserve.
While Garden World Tea Garden provides a delightful culinary experience, it’s important to note that Garden World itself offers a myriad of attractions and activities. Explore the expansive nursery and discover a diverse array of plants, flowers, and gardening supplies to enhance your own outdoor oasis. Browse through the arts and crafts market, where local artisans showcase their creations, offering unique and handcrafted treasures.
The serene surroundings of the Tea Garden and Garden World provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely day out with family and friends. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature, breathe in the fresh air, and unwind in this oasis of tranquility.
Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast, a lover of arts and crafts, or simply someone seeking a peaceful retreat, Garden World Tea Garden and its charming surroundings promise a delightful experience that will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated. So, next time you find yourself in Muldersdrift, make sure to visit the Tea Garden at Garden World for a delectable meal and an unforgettable journey into nature’s embrace.
Walkhaven Dog Park
Calling all dog lovers! Discover a haven of joy and excitement for both you and your furry friend at Walkhaven Dog Park, nestled within the captivating Oori Nature Reserve. Prepare for an afternoon filled with boundless fun as your canine companion frolics, runs free, and takes a refreshing swim in the safe and family-friendly environment of this premier dog park.
Walkhaven Dog Park boasts a diverse range of landscapes, including wetland areas, a tranquil dam, and sprawling grasslands, providing the perfect playground for your pooch to explore and expend their energy. Watch with delight as they chase balls, play with newfound furry friends, and revel in the freedom of open spaces.
But the adventure doesn’t end there! Walkhaven Dog Park goes above and beyond to cater to your needs. Take advantage of the picnic and braai facilities available on-site, allowing you to extend your visit and turn it into a memorable day out for the entire family. Soak in the serene surroundings, savor delicious food prepared in the great outdoors, and create lasting memories amidst the natural beauty of the reserve.
For those seeking a more relaxed experience, the onsite pub awaits, serving light meals and refreshing beverages. Take a break from the activities, unwind, and enjoy a moment of tranquility while observing the playful antics of your furry companions.
Throughout the year, Walkhaven Dog Park hosts a variety of exciting doggie events aimed at raising funds for animal welfare charities. Participate in these lively gatherings, meet fellow dog enthusiasts, and contribute to a worthy cause while having a fantastic time with your four-legged friend.
If you ever need a happy place for your pup while you’re away, Walkhaven Dog Park has you covered. They provide kennel facilities to ensure your furry friend is well taken care of, offering you peace of mind while you’re attending to other matters.
As you explore the Oori Nature Reserve, take advantage of the multitude of attractions and activities available to visitors. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscape, venture on scenic walks, and embrace the tranquility of nature.
Walkhaven Dog Park offers an extraordinary experience for dog owners and their beloved pets within the enchanting Oori Nature Reserve. So, pack up your dog’s favorite toys, leash up your furry friend, and embark on a memorable adventure that celebrates the bond between humans and their canine companions.
Whether you seek thrilling encounters with wildlife, serene moments in nature, or cultural exploration, Oori Nature Reserve and its surrounding attractions have something to offer every traveler. From exhilarating safaris to peaceful picnics, the reserve’s remarkable beauty and abundant activities make it an unforgettable destination for nature lovers and adventurers alike. So, set off on a voyage of discovery and let Oori Nature Reserve weave its magic around you.
Oori Nature Reserve stands as a testament to the harmonious balance between humans and nature. Its unwavering commitment to conservation and ecological restoration creates a sanctuary for both wildlife and visitors alike. So, embark on a journey of discovery and let Oori Nature Reserve captivate your heart with its breathtaking landscapes and awe-inspiring biodiversity.