I have written before about some of the nature reserves we have visited right here in Joburg such as the Lonehill Nature Reserve and the Melville Koppies. There is another one that we have been meaning to visit for quite some time and we finally did so at the end of September.
The reserve is called Norscot Koppies Nature Reserve and it is located in Douglasdale in the Fourways area, only about 5 minutes from our home. It is only open every second and last Sunday of the month so you may need to plan ahead a bit. Entrance is free however a small donation going towards the upkeep of the reserve is always appreciated. Visiters are required to sign in and out and the friendly ladies at the gate will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your visit.
Hadedas greeting us at the start of the trail
There is a circular, well-marked self-guided trail winding through the reserve. You can print out a detailed trail guide from the reserve website or buy one from the ladies at the gate. The variety of wildlife and bird species is surprising considering this reserve is right in the middle of a residental area so keep your cameras at the ready.
There are several rock koppies (Afrikaans for hill) throughout the reserve that can be climbed for those hikers looking for a birds-eye view.
The reserve also contains 2 bird hides. The first is located around marker #10 and overlooks a small dam. To get to the second hide, continue to the left after leaving the first hide. You will then cross into another section of the reserve known as the Kingfisher Bird Sanctuary. Continue towards the dam and you will reach the second bird hide.
First Bird Hide
Walkway to the bird hide
Tortoise – we saw 2 of these, both quite large
Second Dam – the jacarandas are just starting to bloom in the background, I bet they are spectacular right now
Red Bishop – so colorful
Crossing the Dam
Tortoise having his lunch
Tortoise Claws – those are some toenails
Blesbok – they were in a group of 4 but quite skittish
The Norscot Koppies Nature Reserve is a great little place to spend a couple hours and I highly recommend you stop by for a visit (remember they are only open the 2nd and last Sundays of every month). I really enjoyed this little reserve and I just love the fact that places like this exist right here in the city. See you soon Norscot.