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South Africa

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Mhlopeni Nature Reserve

With Natural Heritage status, Mhlopeni Nature Reserve is considered one of the most beautiful conservancies in South Africa. Impressive landscapes surround you, wherever you turn.

If your visit is to enjoy the colors of the veld, the aloes bloom from June through to August. An educational visit will expose the lands rich archeological past, and the value placed on the succession of its unique endemic plant, insect and animal life.

Mhlopeni Nature Reserve

The Reserve is a hidden gem, encompassing 1325ha of dry valley bushveld and upland grasslands waiting to be explored, located between Greytown and Muden this space is considered a genetic pool of biodiversity, actively being conserved for future generations.

The variety of butterflies alone features 123 species identified to date, including the smallest butterfly in Africa.

Mhlopeni is a paradise for birds, situated at the distribution confluence of the northern, southern, coastal, and inland species. A sanctuary for some 230 species recorded on the twitchers list. Species include Verreaux Eagle, Osprey, Fish Eagle, Cape Vulture, Half Collared Kingfisher, Penduline Tit and Buff Spotted Flufftail. On a weekend visit you will find 80 to 100 different birds.

On the animal front the reserve is home to Zebra, Kudu, Impala, Mountain Reedbuck, Oribi, Bush Baby, Porcupine, Hinge Back Tortoise and the elusive Aardvark.

The Flora includes a wealth of indigenous hardwoods, Acacias, Aloes, Euphorbias, Orchids.

Mhlopeni is equally rich in human history, with sites from early stone age to early iron age. Some findings dating back 250 000 years have yielded interesting artefacts. One can observe these sites from elevated vantage points from where the human footprint and disturbance is visible or discovered on foot while looking for pottery shards and slag that remains where once ancient people lived and extracted iron from the earth.

Mhlopeni Nature ReserveAccommodation consists of a rustic bush camp, with hot water, toilet, shower, fully equipped kitchen, and braai area. With 10 beds available it is perfect for groups of three or more. A rondavel is available at the farmhouse complex for lone travelers and couples. Day visitors are welcome and a picnic at the waterfall area is a treat. Tenting sites are prepared on request.

At Mhlopeni connections with Nature are valued, various trails will take you deeper into the wild. Visitors can freely immerse themselves and meander over this rugged terrain together with the wildlife while observing the intrinsic relationships within nature.

Here time stands still, we place emphasis on restoration, come unwind and enjoy the silence. Walk through the canyon and spend a moment at the waterfall complex where you can play in the potholes eroded into the layers of sandstone.

For newcomers the Warden conducts guided tours tailored to your interest, in archeology, butterflies, birding or an orientation to Our conservation success story.

An information brochure is available that includes maps, historical, geological, other interesting information with a tree, mammal and bird list.

Bookings: booking in advance is essential and checking in with the warden on arrival is mandatory.

Telephone: 0870951042 and ask for Andy,

Email: andy@mhlopeni.co.za

WhatsApp: 0769779284

Website: Mhlopeni.co.za


Although the dirt road has been renovated, it is not suitable for low slung vehicles. Use the R74 for 27km from Greytown to Muden, and turn off onto the sign posted L3230. 7.2km and you arrive at the wardens reception.


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