We’ll take you on a flight (no charge!) from Fourways toward Hartbeespoort Dam. Fortunately the air is not too smoky from veld fires today. You’ll notice Dainfern (yes, near that HUGE sewage pipe), you’ll recognize Steyn City hiding behind its massive walls (how many kilometres?), sharing a border with Northern Wastewater Treatment Works and also with Diepsloot pushing against its northern boundary. By now we’re over Northern Farm - beloved by thousands of cyclists, birders and horseriders.
Look left - that’s Lanseria Airport, just off the R512. (Watch out! Kulula is taking off…) To your right is the R511, snaking through the Hennops River valley. You’ve arrived! This vast, beautiful patch of grasslands, bush, rivers, koppies and valleys that you can see stretching up to the Schurveberg range in the North - that’s the Crocodile River Reserve! Welcome!
Is this not the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy? Yes it is. It’s been protecting this space for three decades for the Crocodile River Reserve to become a reality - in the process of becoming an officially proclaimed Nature Reserve.
“Various environmental studies and strategic environmental planning has confirmed the environmental significance and ecology value of this region,” says Mercia Komen, chairman of the CRR. “This information has been used to lobby the authorities to proclaim a Nature Reserve through parliament to ensure the area remains in tact in perpetuity.
“The Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy has been successful in holding the space - literally. Since 1987 the conservation efforts in the region have been spear-headed by the Conservancy. Its active participation in various projects, forums and processes over the decades has left a near-pristine natural area at the very edge of the massive urban development.”