Polokwane Game Reserve
Catch a glimpse of some of the most rare and beautiful animals in the world at this huge nature reserve. At 32 square kilometers, the Polokwane Game Reserve is one of the largest municipal-owned game reserves in South Africa. Bordering the city of Polokwane in Limpopo, the summer temperatures in the park average at a comfortable 27 degrees Celsius, making it a pleasant environment for enjoying nature at all times of the year. Despite its size, you can cover much of the reserve on foot, with varying lengths for different levels of hiking experience and stamina.
Keep your eyes open and your cameras ready, because this park contains some of the most spectacular products of the natural world you'll ever see. The Pietersburg Plateau false grassland is one of the only remaining examples of an extremely localized vegetation type that's mostly been destroyed by agriculture. The habitat is characterized by open savannah and dominated by Themeda triandra grass and the occasional acacia tree. Over 21 species of mammals make their home in the reserve, notably rare creatures such as the white rhino, tsessebe, and sable antelope, as well as giraffes and zebras. There are also various hides for birders, perfect for spotting the over 300 different species of bird found in the reserve. Keep your eyes in the skies and listen out for the likes of the tinkling cisticola, northern black korhaan, double-banded courser, Bushveld pipit, great sparrow, African wren-warbler, and the chestnut-vented tit-babbler. There are also breeding birds of prey in the park, such as the Wahlberg's eagle, greater kestrel, gabar goshawk and the African hawk-eagle.
The park has a good road network so guests can relax in their air-conditioned vehicles and move around the park with ease and speed, so as to fit in as much wildlife spotting as possible. There are also countless walking trails in the park for those who wish to see things on foot. Rise early to avoid the full heat of the middle of the day and remember to bring water. Challenge yourself with the 20 km hiking trail with optional overnight accommodation for the full "foot safari" experience. Alternatively, take one of the shorter walking trails and enjoy a relaxing picnic or barbecue with friends, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With its magnificent diversity of natural life, a trip to this wonderful nature reserve is a day out that you're unlikely to forget in a hurry.