The Dinokeng district: paradise on your doorstep

On a game drive in the Dinokeng Game Reserve.

On a game drive in the Dinokeng Game Reserve. (Image: coffe:in)

Just a stone’s throw from the frenetic pace of Johannesburg and Pretoria you can trade traffic jams, blaring hooters and exhaust fumes for a little piece of paradise – welcome to the greater Dinokeng district!

Part of an initiative by the Gauteng government to establish a tourist destination close to urban areas, Dinokeng lies about 45 minutes north-east of Johannesburg and a mere 15-minute drive (traffic permitting, of course) from Pretoria. It makes for a great Gauteng getaway, and boasts a number of lovely lodges and resorts.

Dinokeng, which means “place of rivers”, boasts an interesting range of natural, cultural and historical heritage sites, with its three major tourist hubs being Roodeplaat, Cullinan and the Dinokeng Game Reserve. These offer visitors a vast array of things to do in Gauteng.

Roodeplaat

This birdwatcher’s haven is centred around the Roodeplaat Dam and offers a variety of affordable accommodation, great outdoor activities, and the opportunity for city dwellers to give their tired senses a break, replenish their energy and breathe in clean air.

Roodeplaat Dam seen from the air.

Roodeplaat Dam seen from the air. (Image: duanzerwick)

Cullinan

This historic town is where the world’s largest rough diamond was discovered in 1905. But its other gems come in the form of fabulous accommodation, outdoor activities, and an abundance of elegant and offbeat eateries. This late-Victorian town has retained a large part of its original architecture, with many functional locations offering genuine old-world hospitality.

Ziplining with Adventure Zone Cullinan.

Ziplining with Adventure Zone Cullinan. (Image: Adventure Zone Cullinan)

Dinokeng Game Reserve

Gauteng’s first free-roaming Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) game reserve, this reserve was officially opened in September 2011. From top-quality hotels and mid-range lodges in Gauteng to tented dwellings and standard self-catering houses, accommodation options are tailored to suit everyone’s style and pocket.

Lions in the Dinokeng Game Reserve.

Lions in the Dinokeng Game Reserve. (Image: Cedric Favero)

Whether it’s the lurking predators of the rolling African bushveld you’re after, a range of adventure activities to get your pulse racing, or fine dining in posh yet natural settings, there’s something for everyone in Dinokeng.

So leave the rat race behind, even if it’s to a day resort in Gauteng, and take in the sights, sounds, history and culture of this little piece of paradise.