The Magaliesberg Mountains

The Magaliesberg Mountains are one of the best places for hiking and climbing enthusiasts and has been a popular site since the 1920s. The area surrounding the mountains is now an environmentally protected site to preserve its unbridled natural beauty and delicate eco-systems. The Magaliesberg Mountains are amongst the highlights and first iconic landmark that guest will get to admire on their trip with Rovos Hunting Safari.

Not many know this but the Magaliesberg Mountains are among the oldest in the world. The magnificent stretch of Magaliesberg’s Mountains is 120 km long, starting from the Bronkhorstspruit Dam in the east of Pretoria to Rustenburg in the west. They separate the Highveld grassland in the south from the bushveld savannah in the north.

The Beautiful Magaliesberg Mountains

History of Magaliesberg Mountains

The mountains started to form around 2,300 million years ago when Africa was part of the large mass of land called Gondwanaland and the Transvaal which, as we know today, was mostly submerged underwater.

The water runoff from the mountains has created deep valleys and gullies over time as well as breath-taking kloofs, with some almost 100 metres deep. Wedged amongst the rocks are perennial waterfalls of clear, clean water – a regular pit stop for hikers.

Rock patterns on Magaliesberg Mountain

The Magaliesberg’s intricate geological history is highlighted by what is known as the Bushveld Complex.  Around 2000 million years ago, molten magma began to build up deep below the earth’s surface and began to build up pressure. This resulted in a 65000 square km reservoir of liquid rock that infiltrated the sedimentary layers of the Transvaal sequence, which began to crack and subside. The rocks fell into the magma, tilting and jutting out to form jagged mountain ranges around the basin. The magma’s intense heat caused igneous rocks of great mineral wealth to be found around the mountains.  This amazing geological phenomenon caused large amounts of manganese, vanadium, chrome, nickel, tin, iron ore and immense platinum quantities to be found.

Rock patterns on Magaliesberg Mountain

Aerial view of Magaliesberg Mountains

Millions of years meant that the tilted rocks were naturally weathered to form the mountains we see today, the highest being the Magaliesberg Mountains. This awe-inspiring range is one of the best places to stop during the luxury Rovos Hunting Safari journey.

Aerial view of Magaliesberg Mountains

Wildlife at the Magaliesberg Mountains

During the last 150 years, the wildlife, particularly large mammals have declined in terms of variety of species and in sizes of populations. However, some of these species have been reintroduced under the protection of nature reserves. Fortunately, there are a number of mammalian species that still roam freely over the whole Magaliesberg Mountain Range.

Open woodland:

Antelope such as grey rhebok and mountain reedbuck occur on open slopes.

While kudu and tragelaphus strepsiceros no longer have a common presence on open woodland, they can be found at Magaliesberg reserves. What’s more, warthogs and desert warthog can be seen occasionally roaming the foot of the slopes.

Cliffs:

 Chacma baboons are probably the most prominent mammals seen in the Magaliesberg. They can often be seen feeding over the entire range and even venturing onto farmland in valleys.

Things to do:

Hiking:

There are many hiking and walking trails at the Magaliesberg Mountains. A variety that caters to not only different fitness levels but also a variety of different scenic views of the mountains.

  • Kranskloof Hiking Trail: starting at an overnight camp, this hike trail passes a dam and then ascends up the Magaliesberg Mountain. Some highlights of this trail include amazing rock formations, stunning tree ferns and pretty boulder-strewn streams. The trail distance is 8.5 km and has a fitness level of moderate.
  • Uitkyk Hiking Trail: an invigorating hiking route, it takes hikers along a wonder route that includes stunning views such as the Hartbeespoort Dam. Hikers will experience a variety of open woodland, rocky ravines and grassland. This trail offers a level of moderate to challenging routes which both experienced and casual hikers alike can enjoy.

Other hiking trails at Magaliesberg Mountains:

Horse Riding:

A horseback on the rugged beauty of the Magaliesberg Mountains sure makes for an unforgettable experience. It means that horseback riders get to traverse one of South African natural features. The clear streams and rocky cliffs make for a tranquil setting for horseback riding experience. Prior horse riding experience is not required as the trip includes guided tours even suitable for families.

Bird watching:

Home to over 400 species of birds, the slopes of Magaliesberg Mountains guarantees rich birdlife. Common species of birds include the Guinea Fowl and the Swainson’s Francolin, which are also common in a neighbouring area, Mareestane where Rovos Hunting Safari makes a stop for bird hunting.

There are many birding spots at the Magaliesberg Mountains of which include:

  • Hartbeespoort Dam: a perfect place to spot dam birds, this area is often frequented by several kinds of bird species. Some of the birds you’ll see include the egret, fish eagle and grass owl.
  • Kgaswane Mountain Reserve: located on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg Mountains, the reserve offers an opportunity to see birds such as the Cape vulture, Cape eagle owl and the Monticola brevipes.

Other bird-watching spots include:

  • Mountain Sanctuary Park
  • Roikoppies Dam
  • Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve
  • Pilanesberg National Park.

Rock Climbing:

The Magaliesberg Mountains offer excellent rock climbing opportunities spread across its many kloofs and escarpments. The climbing is mostly traditional with a small number of sport climbing venues, with hundreds of routes across a wide range of grades. The relatively mild climate allows year-round climbing.