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Rietvlei is a hidden gem in close proximity to Pretoria (18km’s) and Johannesburg (38 km’s from OR Tambo Int. Airport). The reserve covers an area of almost 3800 hectares (38km²) and can support between 1500-2000 head of game. Currently some 1,600 head of game, including blesbuck, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, eland, Burchell’s zebra, waterbuck, reedbuck, springbuck, mountain reedbuck, steenbuck and grey duiker can be viewed here.
There are other species but visit and find them for yourself From your own vehicle it is easy to spot these animals on the open endangered Bankenveld grassland plains. It is a relatively quiet unhurried reserve and well worth a full days visit. Rates are very reasonable.
The 60 km’s of tar and dirt roads in the reserve are fairly well maintained and serve for game viewing, park maintenance and for fire breaks in winter. Whilst a normal sedan can easily be driven around on the tar and most of the sand roads, there are some sections that require a vehicle with higher ground clearance. In the wet summer months I found that a double cab / bakkie with 4×4 or difflock capabilities allowed me to get into the odd area that I would not have gone with a family sedan due deep muddy ruts or washaways for fear of getting stuck. This is however the exception rather than the rule. Roads divide the reserve into 31 blocks and are well marked. A map, bird list and rules of the park are given to you when booking in. Rotation grazing is practised on the reserve by routinely burning blocks and using licks as supplementary feeding.
4 well located Bird-hides (2 on Rietvlei Dam and 1 on Marais Dam with the 4th one centrally located on marshland) and 2 main picnic areas with braai facilities are situated along these roads. There is also a very special river crossing called Otter Bridge with some wonderful wildlife (I won’t spoil it for you, go and check it out). (more…)