The magnificent Malelane Mountains, and the 8,000 hectare Mthetomusha Game Reserve bordering the world famous Kruger National Park at its feet, inspire travellers from around the world. There is a place in Africa where lion, elephant and rhinoceros walk ancient paths once trodden by the First People of our continent, the San (Bushman). Their gallery of more than 200 rock frescoes is a priceless legacy. It is home to the “Big Five”, and a good variety of birdlife.
Mthetomusha Game Reserve was one of the very first game reserves to be built on what has become the contemporary approach to community and conservation partnerships. Established through an innovative initiative by which the then Tribal Authority of the Mphakeni tribe, under the leadership of the late Chief Charles Nkosi, gave low potential agricultural land over to the management of the KaNgwane Parks Corporation for optimal and sustainable development. This approach pioneered in South Africa the concept of close community involvement in conservation. This rugged reserve, broken by granite crags and outcrops, is clothed in three distinct woodland vegetation types which are home to a wide variety of large wildlife species such as kudu, giraffe, zebra, sable and nyala as well as the “Big Five”.
The Wildlife at Mthetomusha Game Reserve consists of larger mammals are concentrated in valley bottoms, with buffalo, white rhino, impala, Burchell’s zebra and common waterbuck occurring in good numbers. Elephant range widely as do lion and leopard. Packs of nomadic African wild dog move in and out of the reserve from the adjacent Kruger National Park. Dainty klipspringer and diminutive rock elephant-shrew dwell among boulder outcrops. The rare Meller’s mongoose is occasionally seen on night game-drives, as are the more common large-spotted genet and white-tailed mongoose.