We recently had the opportunity to sneak away to the Mabalingwe Nature Reserve in Limpopo for a little winter escape with our wonderful family friends.

Since I have known Chris (my hubby), we have not gone away for longer than 3 nights , and I can count those experiences on one hand (bearing in mind we have been together for 5 years!) so this was a really exciting trip for us, as we got to go for 2 nights, and spent some lovely quality time together in the bush, just mellowing out.

Just driving into the Mabaligwe Nature Reserve we saw a varst array of wildlife including warthog, male and female Kudu with suckling young and a hornbill. On our first evening before settling done to a crackling fire, we went out for a short game drive done to the main dam and saw hippo, water lillies and the most gorgeous sunset over the mountains. We fell asleep not to the sounds of the city but to the sounds of owls and beatles and the darkness that can only be found in a remote place far from civilisation.

On our second day in Mabalingwe, we had the priviledge of tagging along to feed the animals that are part of the rehabilitation and wildlife centre. Some of these animals have been found in very compromising situations, with the two absolutely beautiful hyena’s once having been some one’s “pets” in Johannebsurg!

The Rooi-Cats (or Caracal) where found next to the road as kittens (farmers kill these stunning wild cats as they hunt their livestock) and the Lions are part of a breeding programme.

All of these animals are kept in enclosures with limited human interaction- that means that no matter how lovable these animals may be, and may look, there is no petting/touching/hugging or else you are likely to lose your hand 😉

We left early on our last day to miss the long weekend traffic after a leisurely breakfast enjoyed listening to the sounds of the bush. On leaving we saw ostrich, but unfortunately couldn’t find the buffalo. We are so grateful to our friends for sharing their home with us and for treating us to such a lovely weekend away.


About Mabalingwe Nature Reserve:

  • Mabaligwe is only 1.5/2 hours out side of Johannesburg and I would highly recommend booking a trip away to this lovely game reserve.
  • Air bnb have some really nice afforbdable luxury options, if you aren’t as fortunate as us to have friends who have their own secret home away from home.
  • The Reserve also has their own camping area and chalets.
  • A 4×4 vehicle isn’t necessary, but a car with good ground clearance is highly recommended.
  • The resort section of the reserve has a curio and supply shop with all the basics as well as a restraurant.
  • You can buy firewood along your way to the reserve from one of the many roadside hawkers, otherwise the supply shop also has this available.
  • Make sure you take some torches and solar lights, as the elctricity supply can be temperamental from time to time.

All images Copywrite and property of Skwirlybird

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