Summer in Joburg is not what you might expect. Some days it’s warm and sunny and other days it’s cloudy and cool enough for jeans and a sweatshirt.

Even on days when people here say it’s hot, I find it quite comfortable. I mean, 80 degrees Fahrenheit (sorry non-Americans, I still can’t figure out Celsius) with zero humidity? That’s downright chilly compared to the steaming inferno I experienced in D.C. a few months ago.

But today I finally had to admit that it was hot. Blazing blue sky, scorching sun, 86 degrees. Still no humidity so completely tolerable. But real summer nonetheless.

Joe and I decided to go for a hike in Klipriviersberg, the largest nature reserve within the city limits. It’s on the far southern end of the city, near Gold Reef City and the Apartheid Museum.

My Rough Guide says few Joburgers know about this reserve, which seems to be true – Joe had never been there before and we passed only one person on our three-hour hike. We loved it that way so please don’t tell anyone else about it.

There are some decent hills to climb and we saw interesting wildlife. I’d highly recommend Klipriviersberg if you’re in or around central Joburg and want to commune with nature for a few hours. Also, unlike most other nature reserves in South Africa, it’s free!

(Tip: Don’t be dumb like we were and trot off into the wilderness without a water bottle. I almost died of dehydration.)

Here are a few photos from our walk.

The first thing we saw when we walked through the gate of the reserve — a mongoose!

Joe crouches in the grass in search of the perfect cloud shot.

I had never seen a blesbok before. I was mesmerized and he seemed equally mesmerized by us.

We were on the yellow trail.

On our way home from the reserve, we caught a great view of downtown Joburg with the afternoon light shining on the buildings.

It was a nice end to the weekend. We have some international guests coming to visit this week so please tune in.

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