Before I start, let me alert you to a guest post I wrote for a blog called “Notes From Africa”: What Your Cat Wants to Know: An American Ex-pat Perspective. It’s a departure from my normal subject matter — please check it out and browse through Lisa’s lovely blog while you’re at it. Thanks again, Lisa!
Easter Monday was the first nice day we’ve had here in weeks. The air was balmy, the sky was azure, and the clouds looked like that gauzy cotton that people stretch across doorways on Halloween. Hiking was necessary.
We considered going to Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, a park in southern Joburg that we visited a few months ago. But while searching online for a Kliprviersberg trail map (which I never found), I stumbled upon a listing for Kloofendal Nature Reserve on the western outskirts of the city. Joe had heard of Kloofendal but never been. We decided to give it a try.
I’m ceaselessly amazed by how many beautiful places there are within the Joburg city limits. Kloofendal is smack in the middle of sprawling suburbia, but we felt a thousand miles away from everything. The heavy power lines (which seem to drape across every Joburg park) were the only reminder that we were steps from civilization.
Here are a few pics.
A 120-year-old gold stamping machine is on display near the entrance to the reserve. Kloofendal was founded on the grounds of an old mining operation and the shafts have been restored and turned into a national monument. You can tour the shafts by appointment and on special open days.
The most interesting part of the reserve’s landscape is the dead trees. Blue gums are an invasive species in South Africa and there is a campaign to poison them in the reserve. The tree carcases are eerily beautiful.
I decided to take a break on one of the dead trees. Do you see the line of carcasses behind me, and the bright green bushy things growing beneath them? The bright green bushy things are baby blue gum trees. Oops. I’m not sure this eradication campaign is working properly. (Photo courtesy of Joe.)