A Day Trip to Weenen Nature Reserve
Weenen Nature Reserve is a well cared for game reserve situated 77 km north-east of Glen Ormond and is strongly recommended as a worthwhile visit. Proclaimed in 1975, the reserve comprises 5,000 ha of attractive, undulating valley bushveld and 30 km of tourist roads. The vegetation comprises acacia trees, tall thatch grass, redgrass and dense thickets of shrubs.
This land was farmed and occupied by settlers as far back as 1850. Some prominent personalities, such as Sir Theophilus Shepstone (a British South African statesman who was responsible for the annexation of the Transvaal to Britain in 1877), and the son of Voortrekker leader, Andries Pretorius, were amongst its previous owners.
Prior to 1948, the veld had been severely overgrazed, which created devastating soil erosion problems. The land was taken over by the Dept. of Agriculture and used to research and demonstrate soil reclamation and veld recovery techniques. The soil erosion has effectively been combated and the veld has recovered. Look out for the low stone retaining walls that traverse much of the reserve to prevent further erosion. The area is now managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
Rare oribi and white and black rhino have homes in this reserve. Giraffe, zebra, hyena, jackal, serval cat and a variety of buck can also be seen. A total of 246 species of bird have been listed as occurring in the reserve.
Head north up the N3 to Estcourt. Travel through Estcourt on the R103 and at Bougainvillea Ave turn right. Travel about 25 km and at the T-junction, turn right onto the R74. The entrance to the reserve is on your right after 6 km.
GPS co-ordinates are 29°59’47.02”E, 28°50’06.23”S. Click here the Google Maps directions.
The entry fee is R50.00 per adult and R 25.00 per child. The reserve is open between 5:00 am and 7:00 pm in summer and between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm in winter. The dirt roads are in good condition and you do not require a 4×4 vehicle, except for one of the loops which is specifically designated.
A limited range of cold drinks and snacks are sold at the entrance gate only. Take a picnic hamper and have lunch at the delightful picnic spot halfway through the reserve.