Rietvlei was one of my favourite nature reserves discovered during lockdown level 3. It has an abundance of wildlife, lots of roads to drive and of course… very affordable.

Our first road trip in Rietvlei was so amazing that we returned for a second visit the very next weekend…

We thought we had left early enough on the day and arrived at the gate just to end up in a queue just after 8am. We didn’t know at the time, but during level 3 only 100 cars were allowed to enter at a time – and we were number 100 in the queue.

We drove through the gates and down a hill with a view of a dam glistening in the sun. The kids excitedly yelled ‘water’ and ‘swim’ in the back. The water was a dark blue-is/grey-ish tint with flashes of silver bursts. We drove along the water’s edge while I snapped a few pictures of the beautiful view.

We took the first right onto a dirt road and not 20m later we spotted our first animals of the day, a few zebra and ostriches. The kids started getting excited and hungry and we pulled over for a picnic in the car (as the picnic spots were closed under level 3).

A short while after we resumed our self-drive safari in Rietvlei we drove downhill to be greeted by 3 rhinos munching on short grass – very close to the road. We were so excited!

We drove through a herd of buffalo and zebra, spotted more ostriches and even a ‘hartbees’ or 5.

The kids started falling asleep after hour 3 of driving on the dirt roads of Rietvlei and we made our way back to Johannesburg.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve at a glance:

  • Adults R59, Pensioners R32, Kids up to 17 R32, 2-6 year olds R11 and 0-2 year olds free
  • 4,000 hectares or 40 km² in size
  • 14 Game Reserve Ave, Rietvallei 377-Jr, Pretoria
  • Website

What to do in Gauteng with kids – Roadtrips and Nature Reserves


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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