Phaladingwe Nature Trail

The 6.8 km Phaladingwe Nature Trail is highly recommended as a day walk close to Johannesburg. The hike traverses the hills in Broederstroom, and passes alongside the Crocodile River. The word 'Phaladingwe' means 'prettier than others', and there are certainly some lovely views along the trail.

The 'circular' trail begins at the historic Preller House Restaurant at Pelindaba, on the property belonging to the Atomic Energy Corporation. The walk is of average degree of difficulty, and takes under two hours for fast walkers, perhaps 3 to 4 hours for those inclined to take things more slowly. There are some good places to stop for a rest (or lunch break or tea break), including some on the cliff high above the river. Many birds and some animals can be seen along the trail, especially if you walk quietly.

The trail is situated about 45 km north of Randburg. To get there, take the R512 going north from Randburg, past Lanseria Airport. Turn right at the T-junction at Broederstroom. Another 2 km or so takes you to Pelindaba's Gate 1. Turn right here, and park your car at the Preller House Restaurant. Depending on the time of day and day of week, the permit for the trail can be obtained from either the AEC gate, or the nursery (during the week), or from the attendant at the car park (over weekends). The trail is open every day between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

There are limited picnic facilities (including braai fireplaces) at the lapa about 500 m from the house. There are toilets and taps at the start/end of the trail. Don't forget to bring a bottle (at least one or two litres) of water or juice to drink while walking, as it can get very hot. Also, remember the walking shoes, hats, sunscreen, and insect repellent if desired. Note that bilharzia is a potential danger in the Crocodile River; swimming is at your own risk, and is not recommended.

Address: The Trail Committee, Atomic Energy Corporation of South Africa Ltd, PO Box 582, Pretoria, 0001
Hours: Daily (Monday to Sunday): 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone: (012) 316-2353 / 316-3962 / 316-5380 / 316-5112
Fax: +27 12 316-2683
Cost: R7.00 for adults, R3.00 for children under 12 and for pensioners
Refreshments: None available

Copyright © 1998 Rodney Jones,
16 March 1998