A river runs through it

Once in a while, after a rainstorm, the Highveld surrounding Johannesburg becomes an astounding place – it goes back to what it looked like before half of South Africa’s cars and industries did their thing into the air we breathe. The air is clear, the sunshine is brilliant and it becomes a sin to spend the day indoors. Yesterday was such a day and to make sure we use it we went to the Sandton Field and Study Centre. It is basically a stretch of municipal land along the Braamfontein Spruit at the bottom of Parkmore with a very active community centre (read more on their website – from adult ballet classes to photography courses, language classes and first aid, they cover an amazing variety of activities!).

We took a walk along the spruit, took some time to skim a few stones on the tranquil waters, and saw a few mountain bikers on the Braamfontein Spruit trail. It turns out there is a well-trodden (apologies, I don’t know the biking term) 25km MTB trail that goes all the way from the Melville Koppies to the N1 all along the river.

Sandton Field and Study Centre
45 Louise Avenue
Website: http://www.fieldandstudy.co.za/

We ended up at the River Park Stables at the entrance to the centre. In the pictures below you will notice a Pick & Pay in the background. That is actually the big one located in William Nicol drive! Bet you did not expect a proper horse stable only a stone’s throw away from Sandton City.

My little one surprised us totally by going for a ride on one of the ponies and taking to it immediately – this for a kid normally quite risk averse! 

We also learned that a voluntary association of people, called the River Rangers, operate from the River Park Stables. They patrol, on horseback, a 17km stretch of parkland and river trails along the Braamfontein Spruit and Sandspruit rivers. Their objectives are to preserve the ecology of the river systems and to help make the river paths safe for all user groups.

To read more about the River Rangers, click here, or to join the River Park Stables Facebook group, like it here.

Image credits: All photography by me

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