Rietvlei Nature Reserve Hot

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Rietvlei Nature Reserve is situated just half an hour’s drive from JHB international airport on the road to Pretoria. It is an ideal photodestination to spend a few hours at when you have time to spare waiting for connecting flights.

This gem amongst the urban metropolis provides an excellent site for good highveld birding and you can easily notch up a good list within a couple of hours whilst also watching some of the larger ungulate species.


Best Time to Photograph
Early mornings and evenings are best for driving around to search for photographic subjects. The hides and water crossings provide good points for bird photography.
Type of Photography
  • Landscape
  • Wildlife General
  • Birds
Best Time of Year
Photographic Tips
Winter months provide easy viewing as the veld is dry and open, but spring and summer brings numerous migrant bird species and the veld is lush and green. This is also when the reserves ungulates calve.
Recommended Gear
A solid beanbag is a must for photographing at the hides. Telephoto lenses are a priority for bird and animal photography.


Site Highlights
Driving throughout the network of roads provides a wide variety of bird watching and photography opportunities.


Season and Weather
The Rietvlei reserve has a typical highveld climate with approximately 700m of rain falling per annum and mainly during the summer months. Frost occurs regularly at night during winter months.
Other Activities
  • Bird Watching
  • Game Viewing
  • Guided Walks
  • Watersports
  • Horse riding


Closest Town
Getting There
The Rietvlei Nature Reserve is situated just 20 mins from the O.R.Tambo Airport on the R21 between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Take the Oliphantsfontein turnoff and follow road signs to the reserve entrance.


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Arne Purves
Author: Arne PurvesWebsite: http://www.arnepurves.co.zaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Arne's passion for the environment, wildlife and conservation was instilled from an early age, leading to a career in nature conservation, first as a game ranger in the Natal Parks Board, a conservation officer with CapeNature and today in the City of Cape Town's Environmental Compliance Department. Photography is his creative medium of choice.