Melville Koppies and Johannesburg skyline

Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

Johannesburg, South Africa

Friends of Melville Koppies:              Phone: +27 11 482 4797                      Email: wendavid@mweb.co.za

Melville Koppies East

This is public open space. It is open daily and socialised dogs are allowed. Leave all your valuables at home. Secure parking at Kloof Road off 7th Avenue, Melville.

Melville Koppies East is the Reserve's Cinderella. It is only 10 hectares in size and like Melville Koppies West was taken under the the present Committee's care in 1993.

At the time it seemed like a lost cause. There was a large stand of exotic conifers, which create a desolation below them. There was a lot of prickly pear, some of the neighbours had decided to use sisal as a form of barbed wire, and many neighbours considered it a good place to throw their garden debris. There were clusters of lantana, a category one invader which only yields to a pickaxe.

Walkers on the East

Melville Koppies East. The first 100 or so walkers of the 340 who took part in the 1 May 2009 cross-Koppie hike move through an area once dominated by exotic conifers. The regrettable conifer on the left is in a neighbour's garden.

This has all changed. The conifers were felled by the Council. In the desolation left behind indigenous species - first sedges and then grasses - moved in. We have got rid of the sisal, lantana, and prickly pear and the neighbours - mostly - have stopped throwing rubbish over the fence. The big stands of blackjacks (Bidens pilosa and Bidens bipinnata) have been weeded. Neighbours - particularly Adcorp - have helped with fencing. Melville Koppies East is becoming something of a community resource.

Melville Koppies East is also known as the "Louw Geldenhuys Viewsite" because the then owner of the farm reputedly came here with his wife in the evenings.

The views are indeed stunning, but Louw Geldenhuys probably turned his back on the disreputable mining town developing to the east.

Aloes on Melville Koppies East

Aloes on a wintry morning on Melville Koppies East. The disreputable mining town is in the background.

Today it is much used by dog walkers who are requested to pick up their doggy poo!

A thicket of Canthium gilfilliani - Wild Coffee - at the far eastern edge, overlooking the old Rustenburg road, has been rehabilitated.

The Melville Junction Church held a Christmas carol service on Melville Koppies East in December 2008. On the whole it is a success story.

Wendy on Melville Koppies East

Committee chairperson Wendy Carstens looking joyful on Melville Koppies East

What to expect when you visit...

There are no formal walks organized for Melville Koppies East.

Many residents walk in groups with or without dogs.

It is not advisable to walk alone.

To join a group contact Committee member George Hofmeyr on 011 482 2944. He will be able to put you in touch with other walkers.