Situated in a remote area of the Witteberge (white mountains) of the scenic Eastern Free State Highlands of South Africa is a hidden magical place called Thaba Thabo which is a spectacular 1500ha nature reserve.

 

The sandstone mountains offer breathtaking views to the nearby Maluti mountains in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. 

 

There are deep valleys with towering sandstone cliffs, some hidden caves with bushman paintings, seasonal wildflowers as well as seasonal and perennial streams and waterfalls that make hiking on one of four trails a wonderful, invigorating pastime. There are also ruins of early Sotho huts on the reserve. 

 

Some of the huts are corbelled and are believed to be 300 years old. Most of Thaba Thabo is on top of the mountain range with the lowest point being at 1700m above sea level. 

 

 

 

 
 

The sandstone-basalt contact is almost exactly at 1900m and forms a convenient altitude reference.  Thaba Thabo has a good rainfall more uniformly distributed throughout the year than that of the rest of the Highveld.  It normally has snowfalls each winter. 

 

A proliferation of buck, black wildebeest (gnus) and zebra roam the reserve as well as ostriches and various warthog families.  The sable antelope are in a special enclosure close to the base camp. 

 

Many mammals on the reserve are nocturnal or crepuscular and are not often seen.

 

There are many interesting bird species, particularly those associated with high mountains, such as grey-wing francolin, ground woodpecker, stone chat, rock thrushes, orange breasted rock jumper, rock kestrel, bald ibis, gymnogene, black eagle and so on.  Lammergeyer are occasionally seen flying along the edge of the high krantzes.

 

The owners of Thaba Thabo are active in the release of animals that have been rehabilitated at various centres across the country.  Rehabilitation centres are welcome to contact us should the need arise for the release of animals in the area.

 
 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Copyright: thaba Thabo Nature Reserve