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what to do with kids

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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

Who knew Gauteng had so many (little) nature reserves that we could escape to? I used to jump over into Limpopo to get my “wild fix” – but now I am forced to make do with what’s inside a provincial border… and it’s not that bad.

Last weekend we decided to check out Groenkloof Nature Reserve by Pretoria.

  • Pros
    • It is a hikers’ paradise with little footpaths up and down hills
    • There are herbivores like wildebeest and rooibokkies – and ostriches (we didn’t see anything else)
    • There are horses
    • You don’t need to pay for your car if you are just going for a hike
  • Cons
    • Not much to see and takes about 20 minutes to drive around once (including to stop and watch animals)
    • You can however get out of your car and hike to a viewpoint for some fresh air
    • They don’t let you know how far you will wander to a viewpoint
    • It costs R120 for a vehicle plus then some per person

The horse pictured was surrounded by grazing wildebeest. Suddenly it neighed wildly and the wildebeest scattered over the road. A few minutes later they were right back next to the horse. I wonder what that was about?

While driving you’ll even catch a glimpse of the Voortrekker Monument and if you walk the first viewpoint route up the koppie, a view of Pretoria.

There is also a 4×4 track, but obviously we gave this a skip. I’m not really a bundu basher.

What to do with kids while in Gauteng

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