The Songimvelo Nature Reserve is the largest provincial game reserve in South Africa, and has the highest known plant diversity for the Mpumalanga Province. The list of more than 1400 known species range from several recently discovered species to the last wild population of the Woolly Cycad. The broken landscapes make this reserve one of the most aesthetically attractive areas in the province.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Extending over an area of 49000 hectares, the Songimvelo Game Reserve is on South Africa's best kept secrets. This spectacular landscape is a diverse tapestry of rolling hillsides, hidden valleys, forest ravines and open plains. Songimvelo not only supports an incredible diversity of habitats, plants and animals, but also displays a medley of bottoms are usually still and warm with the calls of insects and birds filling the air. The more palatable grasses of the plains attract large numbers of Burchell"s Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Waterbuck and Blesbok, with mixed herds regularly assembling. Giraffe, Impala and Kudu are common in denser woodland. A thriving population of White Rhino occurs at Songivelo, with family groups frequently being seen. Leopard, Brown Hyena and Blackbaked Jackal are all fairly common, but nocturnal and seldom seen. As with the plants and mammals, the over 300 species of birds are distributed aaccording to habitat types. Among the species to be seen on lower slopes are Goldenbreasted Bunting, Brubru Shrike, Plumcoloured Starling and Sheelly's Francolin, with raptors such as Gymnogene, Martial Eagle and Brown Snake Eagle soaring overhead.
From a geological perspective, Songimvelo falls within the so-called Barberton Mountain land, with the typical 'greenstone' rocks dating back to the dawn of time; 3 600 million year-old fossil evidence of primitive algal life forms suggest that these mountains are among the most ancient landforms on Earth. The hills and valleys were occupied by early man with archaeological sites dating back to 400 BC.
Rustic self-catering accommodation and camp sites are available at the large Kromdraai Camp in the eastern sector of the park, where visitors can enjoy bush walks along the Komati River. Access to the 130 beds, selfcatering Krommdraai camp is some 14km east of the main gate. For visitors the Songimvelo Game Reserve features a picturesque picnic site llocated alongside a small stream. The picnic site is equipped with permanent braai facilities, running water and flush toilets. Also offered are guided game drives in 4x4 vehicles and interesting and informative hikes through the bush.