It has been 106 days since lockdown started in South Africa. For the kids and I, it has been 118 days. Since the country entered Lockdown Level 3 we have been out and about most weekends to little nature reserves in Gauteng. It felt great to be out and feel the sunshine, see a lion and hear the wind in the trees.

Modderfontein Reserve in Edenvale, close to the airport, was our destination for our last weekend outing. It was a 20-minute drive from Fourways. Entry fees are quite affordable (R30 for adults and R15 for kids with Cyclists paying R50).

We were surprised to see so many people out, there were cars upon cars. People were out picnicking on the banks of the dam, walking along the trails and even enjoying a sit down at the Farmers’ Market.

The website promised a number of herbivores, but we didn’t see any. We did see a lot of birds during our walk.

I probably wouldn’t go back hoping to see animals, but I would definitely go back to have a picnic next to the water! I really enjoyed the walk in nature too.

Find out more here: www.modderfonteinreserve.co.za

What to do in Gauteng with Kids

The further my car got from the gates of our security complex the more it felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. It felt great to have Google maps navigate us to a destination again. It felt good to see the tar with its white lines in my rear-view. It felt good to have some freedom.

Padkos (ˈpadˌkɒs) snacks and provisions for a journey

An Afrikaans word literally meaning ‘road food’

We had booked tickets to the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve near Krugersdorp. We wanted to go to the Lion Park near Harties, but it’s over a provincial line. It was a great decision tho!

The kids could barely contain their excitement at the gate with the elephant sculpture but once we started seeing the animals grazing in groups they were beside themselves. The Rhinos were a highlight especially with the little one staying closes to its parent – Lexa even tried to take photos on her tablet of them.

This is the first time Lily has seen a Rhino 🙂

Lily growled and miaawed at the white lions with their beautiful coats. They yelled at the ostriches because we shoo away all birds. The cheetach lazily meandered over to our car before finding a new shaded spot to rest in. There were even a few Springbokkies playfully running about.

Lexa was really excited to see Pumba! Can you spot them?

At the end of a 4-hour drive in the park the kids were spent. They had finally been outside the gates of our complex. Did something exciting with their parents. They were out in the wild – and they loved it.

Road trip (ˈroʊd ˌtrɪp) long trip or holiday taken by car

What to do with kids while in Gauteng

I grew up thinking that the Kruger Park was in our backyard – that’s how many times we went. One of my most vivid memories was seeing lions for the very first time. I remember pressing my nose flat against the window in the stationwagon to get a better view of these better cats. My parents loved going to the Kruger Park and I still do, but I can’t just pop over there… its far!

I was elated to be introduced to the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve just 2 shakes from our home. Not only do they have lions, but they also have a bunch of other cats and animals to look at.

Once you enter the park adrenaline starts pumping. Just after the gate the very first watering hole with animals, then up and down a hill a gate will be opened that keeps the predators away from the herbivores.

We didn’t get to do the animal interactions as we were at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve for an easter egg hunt and the children were kaput! Next time we’ll do that…

When the driving gets too much you can always go to the Thatch Café for a snack or take on the bicycle ramps. You can also go to the Thatch Cafe and bike park without entering the rest of the park – which means it’s a free place to go! You can also rent bicycles here.

Get more details on www.rhinolion.co.za.

What to do with kids while in Gauteng