Kwa Madwala, Place of Rock in Swazi

Kwa Madwala lies on the southern side of Kruger National Park and is home to the fabulous Manyatta Rock Camp.  Here, comfort comes as standard along with elegant African touches and commanding views over the surrounding bush from the stunning hilltop location.  Enjoy the exhilarating “big five” game viewing experiences and soak up the tranquility of this unique hilltop camp.

Located in lowveld bush to the south of Kruger National Park, this 4000 hectare conservancy is home to a vast array of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles.  The reserve is a mixture of lowveld savannah and thick bushveld making for a highly varied biome.  Through hard work and perseverance, Kwa Madwala today boasts a hugely diverse variety of wildlife, both big and small.  The guides take pleasure in showing you not only the big 5 of course, but also in highlighting the unusual, the small and the rare.

Kwa Madwala has an innovative approach to game viewing experiences and offers more than the usual four wheel game drive.  Why not try an exhilarating arial safari flight by Microlight aircraft, flying low over the bush and up to the Crocodile River on the southern border of Kruger.  See the African bush and wildlife from a totally different perspective.  Or get really close to nature and experience the thrill of an Elephant Back Safari across the reserve.  Ranger led daily bush walks are very popular with guests and are a great way to get up close and learn more about the flora and fauna.

For those with time on their hands, Kwa Madwala also offers a 7 day “behind the scenes” conservation experience where participants get to see and better understand the work of the rangers and reserve as a whole.  To date a total of 223 bird species including 7 different eagle varieties and numerous kestrels, hawks and kites have been recorded.  Kwa Madwala is home to the rare and elusive Bat Hawk which preys on the two bat colonies found on the reserve.  The Bat Hawk is crupuscular and only seen in the early morning or late afternoon / early evening.

The reserve’s enviable location close to Swaziland, Mozambique and Kruger National Park affords the chance for visitors to explore the diversity of this region.  A range of guided day and half-day excursions are offered from Manyatta Rock Camp and a recommended minimum four night stay is necessary to fully appreciate the reserve and surrounding areas.

Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve in South Africa is a leading provider of conservation experience programs designed for those taking a gap year, taking time out from work or just for the holiday of a lifetime.  Located just south of world famous Kruger National Park, Kwa Madwala welcomes applications from those interested in learning more about the African wildlife, conservation and eco-tourism.  The programs are fun, educational, highly varied and at times challenging; where participation adds to the sustainability of the reserve as a whole.  Choose from a variety of placement durations to suit your needs whilst career breakers can even upgrade accommodation to the 4 star Manyatta Rock Camp for more comfort.  Spending some time out on one of the programs is designed to be fun and rewarding with large helpings of adventure and once in a lifetime activities.  If you are an enterprising, independent person with an appreciation for Africa’s threatened wildlife and are willing to get your hands dirty, then Kwa Madwala might be the place for you.

Up until the 1920’s the Onderburg area encompassing modern day Kwa Madwala was pristine native bushveld with few farms, towns or inhabitants.  The topography of the region ranges between mixed grassland and thick bush interspersed by granite kopjies (hills) which are a feature of the area.  The nearest settlement to Kwa Madwala is present day Hectorspruit which was originally known as Majejane, taking its name after a local Swazi tribal chief.  The Onderburg area is very close to the Swaziland border and most local people are Swazi, who are very close in terms of language and customs to their more southerly neighbor, the Zulus.

In 1985 Jan Grobler bought an 800 hectare section of the farm “Lowhills” and developed it into a very successful cattle ranch through the 1980’s and early 1990’s.  He also realized that the natural beauty of the area far exceeded the financial gain of cattle farming and formed a vision for restoring the area to it natural rugged beauty for tourism.

With this in mind Jan started introducing a variety of indigenous animal game species onto the farm.  By the early 1990’s healthy populations of impala, bushbuck, nyala and zebra were established on the farm.  The old farmhouse was expanded to accommodate guests and renamed Gazebo Lodge.  Along with this transformation he visualized an exciting new potential in firstly hunting and later eco-tourism in this “Kruger Park south area” area.  It is through this vision that he created something different and special by developing a magnificent private conservancy with its unique Manyatta Rock Camp.  This unique hilltop camp must without a doubt be the true pride of Kwa Madwala and the Kruger Park south area.  In 1999 cattle farming was abandoned and the name changed to Kwa Madwala.  This truly African name means “the place of the rock”, in Swazi and is so much more descriptive of the area with its granite outcrops which reach a height of 513 m a.s.l. at Wilson’s Kop to the south-east of the main lodge.

Today the reserve covers an area of 4000 hectares (approximately 10,000 acres) in the heart of the “Kruger Park south” area.  The reserve boasts the “big 5” with healthy numbers of lion and leopard.  Expansions has taken the 4 star Manyatta Rock Camp to 28 units and a beautiful dining deck which affords stunning views out across the bush.  Jan Grobler’s original vision is now very well established and the reserve continues to pioneer through the introduction of Microlight aerial safari flights, elephant back safaris and gap year conservation.

Linking MalaMala and Mashatu with Malatu

Road Travel is delighted to announce a new direct charter flight between Mala Mala and Mashatu Game Reserves.  This new service is called Malatu Express and will commence in February 2012.  This new route will enable the easy connection between the two Rattray Reserves.  The Malatu Express will be conducted in a Cessna Grand Caravan, a single engine, unpressurized turboprop aircraft.

Mala Mala Game Reserve, the first private photographic safari destination in South Africa, offers an authentic African experience.  Strategically sandwiched between the Sabi Sand Wildtuin and the world famous Kruger National Park, this exclusive reserve offers incredible sightings of Africa’s wildlife – including the Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo), as well as a multitude of smaller creatures, in an environment that remains reflective of a time when man had yet to arrive.

How better to experience this wildlife wonderland than through the Mala Mala rangers who are employed for their knowledge of the African bush and their ability to communicate with people.  They are highly qualified, formally trained men who are thoroughly conversant with all aspects of ecology.  Apart from conducting informative game drives, the rangers is the guests’ host for the duration of their stay and can impart knowledge of Africa that enlightens and entertains.

The Mala Mala magic is not only the bush experience: Superb service remains the focus of all staff.  Understated luxury and tranquility are synonymous with each of the eighteen rooms at Mala Mala Main Camp.  Each room is furnished with every amenity, including ‘his’ and ‘hers’ bathrooms, 24 hour temperature control, mini bar, room safe and a private deck with magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding bush.  Guests can relax in the Buffalo lounge which leads onto a large wooden deck that provides elevated views of animals watering in the Sand River.  There is a swimming pool, a complimentary laundry service, wine cellar, bush gym, bar, library and safari boutique.

Mashatu Main Camp is located in the remote eastern corner of Botswana, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, in an area known historically as the Tuli enclave – a diverse wilderness of savannah, riverine forests, marshland, open plains and sandstone outcrops.  The name is derived from the magnificent Mashatu trees, which occur throughout this immense tract of privately owned land.

This are is home to no less than seven of Africa’s giants: the African elephant, the lion, the giraffe, the baobab tree, the eland, the ostrich and the kori bustard.  Mashatu Game Reserve, an area of history and legend, offers some of the most exciting game viewing in Africa in open 4-wheel drive safari vehicles, guided by expert rangers and experienced trackers.  It is home to large herds of elephant, prides of lions and cheetah.  Up to 350 species of birds can be seen here.  Along the river courses, huge Mashatu trees provide shade for eland, impala, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra, whilst at night the bat-eared fox, African wildcat and the magnificent leopard search for prey.

Mashatu Main Camp accommodates 28 guests in insect proof luxury suites, each with a large comfortable en-suite bathroom.  French doors open onto the African bush where guests can relax and savour the sights and smells of the bush.  There is a magnificent viewing deck directly off the bar or ‘gin trap’ together with an elevated lounge overlooking the waterhole.

Combining the diversity of the Big Five South African luxury safari, and the vast open adventurous plains of Botswana, visitors will enjoy extraordinary game viewing, professional guiding, service excellence and some of the most breathtaking scenery this side of the equator.  Road Travel is also excited to offer The Definitive African Experience.  Combine Mala Mala and Mashatu Game Reserves in an exciting 6 Night Package.  This package combines very easily with connecting flights to and from Cape Town, Livingstone and Johannesburg.  Contact us to find out more.

Spring Fling Spectacular Specials at Gondwana Game Reserve

Its incredible how many fantastic offers we get during Spring.  Its such an amazing time of the year in South Africa.  Save ZAR 1 600.00 per person this spring, staying in luxury on a 11 000 hectare private reserve with free roaming big five.  Celebrate spring and let your love bloom at Gondwana when you book the Romantic Blossom Package, saving ZAR 7 400.00.  Gondwana is the ideal romantic break for couple’s looking to embrace romance.  Relax around the pool between game drives or horseback safaris and enjoy the privacy of your own five-star Kwena Hut, with king-size bed, open shower and bath.  The rate includes all meals, two game activities per day and luxury accommodation, and is valid now until 15 October 2011.  Contact Road Travel today to book your stay, and you might be lucky enough to be treated to a complimentary 30 minute spa treatment in the Kwena Africology Spa.

Situated in the heart of the Garden Route, you will find a beautiful piece of land that will stir your senses. Set on 11,000-hectares, Gondwana Game Reserve holds the distinction of being the only Fynbos reserve in the world with free roaming Big Five game as well as endangered species like the Cape Mountain Zebra, Black Rhinoceros, and Black Harrier among many others.  Its breathtaking beauty will sooth and delight you with its endless mountain views and green rolling hills blanketed in colourful fynbos.  The reserve is accessibly situated 25 minutes outside the charming coastal town of Mossel Bay and a mere 4 hours drive from Cape Town. It shares the areas’ idyllic climate, second most moderate in the world, and is Malaria-free, offering prime year round game viewing.

The reserve is named after “Gondwanaland”, the original landmass that existed one hundred and twenty million years ago from which Africa was formed.  The Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountain ranges that surround the reserve are the last visible evidence of the former Gondwanaland after the continent split to how we know it today.

There are gorgeous deep valleys, ravines, hills, mountains and open plain areas, providing excellent terrain for driving and guided walking safaris. Numerous fountains, streams and dams allow for spectacular settings for viewing hides.  The Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountain Ranges overlook the reserve from the North, East, and West providing spectacular backdrops for your wildlife photography and sunset views.  The Indian Ocean can also be seen from certain elevated areas on the reserve.  Guided horse-back safaris, guided Fynbos walks, fishing and mountain biking are available in the 1000 hectare walking area situated within the reserve, fast becoming Gondwana’s most popular outdoor activities offered within the fully inclusive rate.  Safaris are conducted in open game viewing vehicles.

Gondwana Game Reserve has a unique combination of Fynbos and grass plains.  Fynbos, the primary vegetation on the reserve, is endemic to the Western Cape region and exists nowhere else in the world, drawing unique bird life and mammals.  An abundance of Protea and other wildflowers provide year round enjoyment and color.  Fynbos, meaning “fine bush” in Afrikaans is the natural shrubland or heathland vegetation occurring in a small belt of the Western Cape of South Africa, mainly in winter rainfall coastal and mountainous areas with a Mediterranean climate.

The Kwena Huts are a modern and luxurious twist on the traditional Khoi-San dwelling.  Kwena Camp facilities include a large pool, a chic open-plan lounge and bar, with food and beverage services offered in an elegant and intimate dining room set around open fireplaces, the outdoor boma, or private in room dining.  Guests are treated to surprise bush breakfasts, romantic picnics, evening barbecues and scenic sundowner spots.  The Khoi San inspired main lodge offers luxuriously appointed private suites overlooking two waterholes across the valley onto the mountains which once formed part of the famous landmass known as Gondwanaland.

Gondwana’s goal is to continue to expand its total conservation area to provide the Western Cape with a large eco-tourism destination for the promotion of indigenous flora and fauna as well as the rehabilitation of wetland areas currently under threat from invasive alien species.  Gondwana has already reintroduced the first endangered black rhino to the Western Cape from where they historically occurred.  In developing the reserve, every attempt was made to reduce potential impact on the environment.  Areas of indigenous vegetation were protected and left untouched.  Gondwana’s water supply is completely self-sufficient utilizing its own streams.  Strict water usage controls and restrictions are applied to all buildings to preserve this natural resource.