The spectacular 1500 hectares Thaba Thabo Nature Reserve is situated in the Witteberg mountain range close to Ficksburg and the Lesotho border in the Eastern Free State highlands. 

 

The reserve consists of three game farms, Afton, Gilboa and Thaba Thabo. 

 

All three game farms are registered nature reserves and collectively they are known as Thaba Thabo which means Mountain of Happiness.

 
 

The reserve is renowned for its scenic setting and boasts numerous wildlife species which include sable antelope, eland, gemsbuck, black wildebeest, blesbuck, impala, springbuck, zebra, warthog, mountain reedbuck, southern reedbuck, grey rhebuck, red hartebeest, duiker, ostrich, steenbuck, etc.

Many towering sandstone cliffs, fountains and perennial and seasonal streams are found on the reserve. A seasonal waterfall drops into a deep wooded gorge. Three dams offer area shelter to an abundance of bird life.

 
 

 
 
 

There are breathtaking views in every direction, over the reserve and beyond and including the Maluti mountains of Lesotho.

Biologically it lies in a major ecological transitional zone resulting in a great diversity of habitats (both Drakensberg and Free State High Veld vegetation) and rare plant and animal communities with an affinity for rocky places, water courses and mixed vegetation, e.g. baboon, caracal, serval, genet, jackal, fox, otter, mongoose, dassie, porcupine and many others.  There are also many bird species associated with high mountains such as grey-wing francolin, ground woodpecker, stone chat, rock thrush, orange breasted rock jumper, rock kestrel, malachite and great double collared sunbirds, bald ibis, gymnogene and black eagle.

The reserve has one of the best geological exposures of the top of the Karoo geological system.

 
 

 

 

 

 
 
Copyright: thaba Thabo Nature Reserve