An expansive 3000ha private game reserve, Amathunzi is a treasure trove for plant lovers, comprising fynbos, renosterveld and succulent Karoo biomes. Antelope and zebra graze in the untrammeled space, while above raptors wheel and glide. The Amathunzi reserve can only be explored on foot or by bike, or we can arrange an evening game drive in the open-topped LandCruiser, and toast the setting sun from one of the reserve’s viewpoints.
As is typical of Western Cape fynbos biome, Amathunzi soil is fairly nutrient-depleted, with vegetation dominated by sclerophyllous – evergreen, hard-leaved, flowering shrubs, while the dry river beds are home to acacia and sand olive trees. What makes exploring Amathunzi on foot so satisfying is the presence of the succulent Karoo biome producing blossoms so saturated in colour they glow like gem carpets, discarded in the veld.
Kudu, gemsbok, black wildebeest, eland, red hartebeest, bontebok, springbok and zebra roam the reserve, often seeking the sweeter grasses and water sources located near the manor house and lodge. Seek them out at sunset in our open-topped vehicle, or on foot via our hiking trails, or cycle the network of jeep tracks that wind through the reserve (a number of mountain bikes are available). Shyer species you may encounter are the klipspringer, duiker and aardvark.
Given the abundance of water on the reserve, birdwatchers are rewarded with regular sightings. Species to look out for include the Black Eagle, Lesser Double Collared and Malachite Sunbirds, Black Harrier, Spoonbills, Hamerkop and the Pale Chanting Goshawk.