For our new weekly tradition of great Sunday hikes, we decided to head to Groenkloof in Pretoria East. From some quick reading up online, it looked like a great place to get some nice technical hiking done and see some wildlife. After hiking in Cape Town for three years and seeing one loan goat on Devil’s Peak throughout all that time and dozens of hikes, it blows my mind that on nearly every hike I’ve been on here I’ve seen some impressive animals. For this, Joburg, you are awesome. For the dryness and sinus havoc, not so much 😛
We started on the 10km trail, with a few new additions to the normal crew. The first thing you notice about the Groenkloof trails is how technical they are. most of the inclines and declines are littered with rocks, making for some awesome trial running and hiking. The plateaus are mainly flat and very veld like, definitely having its own beauty.
We headed up handling the rocks pretty well. The 10km has quite a few peaks and valleys, making for an interesting route. The area is far enough outside of the city to feel some distance with the world, and is incredibly peaceful even with a decent number of other hikers and trail runners.
Along the route we were actually stopped by a Sable crossing the path ahead of us, meeting up with a Zebra on the other side. It was fantastic to see such a majestic buck so close. Shortly after that, after heading across the straight and past the halfway mark, we saw a pair of Giraffe incredibly close. For some of the hikers it was the first time they’d ever seen a Giraffe and was a fantastic experience. We then headed into some really technical territory, and before we knew it we were done with the trail.
Groenkloof is a great hike and can be a pretty challenging trail run, definitely worth a trip 🙂