The lesser-known Weenen Game Reserve is located on the interior of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and provides a shelter for wildlife. Visitors are drawn to the reserve because of its notable populations of black and white rhino, and the rare roan antelope.
The charming 5000-hectare landscape is dominated by acacia savannah and tall swaying grasses, making it an ideal habitat for herbivores. The Bushman’s River carves through a massive gorge, giving rise to undulating terrain with beautiful valleys. The varied landscapes are best explored on guided walks or 4WD game drives, where a world of game viewing opportunities opens up. Of particular interest is the vulture feeding site and thriving waterhole, both highlights of visiting the reserve.
The closest town to Weenen Game Reserve is Weenen, located on the Battlefields Route. The game reserve is easily accessible from both Johannesburg and Durban and is only 160 kilometres from Durban.
The Weenen Game Reserve is located in KwaZulu-Natal and just 160 kilometres from Durban where there is an airport.
Visitors can make use of campsites and caravan spots inside Weenen Game Reserve. Various luxury accommodation options are just outside the reserve.
The thornveld and valley vegetation of Weenen Game Reserve provides the ideal habitat for a variety of game. Visitors can spot bushbuck, porcupine, reedbuck and other small antelope. Predators include hyena and jackal, and big game such as giraffe and zebra.
The waterhole is the main area to spot game and buzzes with activity during the winter. Another wildlife highlight of visiting the reserve is the presence of a vulture feeding site, where safari-goers can spot these comical scavengers fighting for tidbits.
There are 280 species of bird to spot, a few of which include the black-throated canaries, African pipits, red-throated wryneck and greenwood hoopoe. Ostriches are also found in abundance in the reserve.
Like most South African game reserves, the best time to visit Weenen is during winter. During the winter season, it is dry, which means wildlife congregates around available water sources. May to September is the recommended time to visit, as it is also easier to spot wildlife through the thinned out vegetation.
Weenen Game Reserve is a spectacular wilderness area offering endless opportunities for game viewing and birdwatching. Guided walks through the reserve can be arranged through local tour operators or at the surrounding safari lodges.
There are also three self-guided trails in the area, well-mapped out and ideal for the adventurous spirit wanting to navigate an eight-kilometre route. The reserve is open for day and night visitors, which means safari-goers can enjoy thrilling night drives in the open wilderness. The vulture feeding site is one of the main attractions in the area, and it’s not uncommon to spot other scavengers joining the feeding frenzy.
Picnic spots are dotted across the reserve and offer magnificent views of the surrounding wilderness. All picnic spots come complete with barbecue facilities and amenities. There are a few game viewing and birdwatching hides around the waterhole, providing the perfect vantage point for visitors. There are over 40 kilometres of road for self-drive activities and game drives.
Luxury accommodation options are located outside of the reserve, while the main accommodation options inside the reserve are confined to campsites and caravan spots. There are one or two small tented camps inside the reserve that offer self-catering options and self-contained cottages, all located on the banks of the river.