Limpopo is South Africa's northern-most
province and is renowned, among other things for being home to a number of Big
5 game reserves. However, often going unnoticed are some of the area's smaller
reserves, one of which is the Doorndraai Dam Nature Reserve.
Doorndraai Dam Nature Reserve has the
wonderful sense of being remote without actually being far off a major highway.
It is situated on the R101, just off the N1 highway between Johannesburg and
Polokwane. It is southwest of Polokwane and just a half hour drive from the
town of Mokopane.
The Doorndraai reserve, as the name
implies, is centred on the Doorndraai Dam, a long narrow, but not especially
voluminous body of water. Around the dam you'll find savannah biospheres and
open grasslands, while in other sections of the park you'll note acacia,
hillside broad-leafed woodland and riverine woodland.
The habitats provided by this cross-section
of vegetation types means that there is a rich diversity of birds and other
animals which call Doorndraai home. Among them tsessebe, impala, kudu, giraffe,
zebra, blue wildebeest, otter, honey badger, brown hyena, African wild cat and
even leopard - although notoriously rare.
The nature reserve, apart from offering a
peaceful, soul-enriching space in which to relax, is full of activities, and
ideal for family groups. There are hiking trails along which you can keep an
eye out for birds and other animals, gravel roads for game drives, and an
entire dam to keep you occupied with bass fishing and all the water sports you
can imagine. Picnicking by the side of the dam is idyllic and if you want to
extend your time in this pretty reserve, there is also a campsite with basic
facilities available to visitors.
Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling distance.