Faerie Glen Nature Reserve in Pretoria is a popular 128-hectare oasis in urban surroundings, boasting idyllic scenery, an abundance of birdlife and a series of nature trails and walks. The reserve transitions between bankenveld (grassland) and sour bushveld (acacia veld), and visitors can spot South Africa’s national flower – the Protea – growing along the hillsides. The reserve also forms part of the 8km Moreleta Spruit Nature Trail, while the perennial Moreleta Spruit flows through it, responsible for abundant grassland and rich vegetation.
Birdwatchers will be in their element as there are more than 150 species of birds to look out for. Common finds include the European Nightjar, African Black Duck, Brown-backed Honeybird, European Bee-eater, Cape Grassbird, Marsh Warbler, Crimson-breasted Shrike and Village Weaver. Rare birds such as the Corncrake and River Warbler have also been spotted at the reserve, so keep those binoculars at hand.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit if you’re interested in birdlife is in the summer season (September to April from 06:00 and 19:00). In the winter season (May to August) the reserve closes at 18:00. In addition to the large variety of birdlife, there are also rare trees and insect life.
If you prefer hiking, there are several trails and walks of varying difficulty that are sure to provide you with scenic and invigorating passage through the reserve. There are also easy-to-follow footpaths and clear signage to ensure guests enjoy a comfortable and safe meander, although it is not recommended to visit the reserve alone. There are no facilities in the reserve itself, but the Plumbago Tea Garden is situated at the entrance if you’re keen for relaxing refreshments after your hike or a quiet morning spent bird watching.
Adults R6, Schoolchildren R3, Pre-school children entre free of charge.