Nature Reserves near Kabeljous
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and are not necessarily the actual travelling
Jeffreys Bay (3 km from Kabeljous)
Enjoy clip clopping along untouched beaches and through indigenous vegetation with well-schooled horses and experienced guides. All rides start on the farm Papiesfontein between the Gamtoos and Kabeljous Rivers, 10 km from Jeffreys Bay.
The 13 km trail leads over pretty dunes to the river mouth and a long stretch of beach – perfect for an exhilarating gallop. Along the way you’ll see abundant birdlife, animals and marine life. Bookings are essential.
Cape St Francis (21.6 km from Kabeljous)
On the tip of Cape St Francis and sandwiched between a plethora of coastal holiday houses is the lovely Cape St Francis Nature Reserve.
This sanctuary is not only rich in botanical and animal life; it offers unhindered views of the ocean. Here the endangered coastal dune forest and fynbos is preserved from further development, providing a home for bushbuck, grysbok, duiker, porcupine, bushpig, monkey, mongoose, caracal and otter.
Twitchers will find plenty to tick off here with 200 bird species recorded. A delightful hiking trail leads to a superb viewpoint and it’s easy to lose yourself for many hours within the reserve.
Bottlenose and common dolphins can often be seen surfing the breaks and southern right whales winter offshore during August to November.
Port Elizabeth (33.3 km from Kabeljous)
Van Staden's Wild Flower Reserve was established in 1951 and is situated 40 km from Port Elizabeth. It is one of the top places to see lowland fynbos, flowering proteas and a variety of other endemic fynbos. Visitors can see a large variety of vegetation in the various habitats of the escarpment. There is an abundance of succulents, ericas, leucadendrons, and other indigenous flora.
The reserve aims to protect the large variety of bird, plant and animal species within the area. Bird watchers can feast their eyes on more than 170 bird species and a number of raptors frolicking in their natural habitat along the rocky gorge. This includes the forest buzzard, jackal buzzard, booted eagle, African crowned eagle, peregrine falcon, black sparrowhawk, and lanner falcon. There is an indigenous coastal forest along the gorge of Van Staden's River. It is home to the Knysna turaco, the Knysna warbler, and the sombre greenbul, among many others.
There is also a nursery in the reserve which sells indigenous flora, and scenic picnic sites on the plateau that are perfect for relaxing over a meal. There are two hiking trails for those who want to explore the reserve. The River Walk is four kilometres long and the Forest Walk is six kilometres. Mountain bikers can explore the plateau section of the reserve, and there are easier sections which are ideal for families to cycle on.
Addo (75.1 km from Kabeljous)
Discover the magic of the Karoo with a unique wilderness experience at the exclusive 5-Star Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve.
Bordering the Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape, the reserve offers malaria-free wildlife viewing of a wide variety of game.
Professional rangers will introduce you to lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard, rhino, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, antelope, abundant birdlife and rare flora on interesting game drives.
An awesome thing to do is go on a walking safari to shadow cheetah as they prowl for their prey.
Port Elizabeth (75.1 km from Kabeljous)
The Settlers Park Nature Reserve is located in the heart of Port Elizabeth along the banks of the Baakens River Valley.
The reserve is great for exploring and bird watching. The park is rich in bird life with a variety of birds to be seen, including woodpeckers, flycatchers, and various species of sunbirds. There are also weavers, warblers, waxbills, and kingfishers nestled within the reeds of the valley.
There is a stunning flower display house, a Marquette of the 1820 Settlers' Statue, indigenous flora, rock pools with stepping-stones and grassed areas ideal for picnicking.
Port Elizabeth (75.5 km from Kabeljous)
Known as the oldest park in Port Elizabeth, this is also the home of the second oldest cricket club in South Africa, which has hosted countless test matches to this day.
St George's Park also features the Port Elizabeth Bowls Club, founded on August 14, 1882, and known as "The Mother Club of Bowls in South Africa" as it was the first bowling club in the country. Other facilities include a swimming baths complex, the Mannville Open-Air Theatre, the Port Elizabeth Lawn Tennis Club, Prince Alfred's Guard Memorial, and the Pearson Conservatory.
Central (77 km from Kabeljous)
Donkin Reserve, Pyramid and Lighthouse includes a stone pyramid monument erect by Sir Rufane Donkin in memory of his late wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city was named. The Great Flag, which measures 12m x 8m, is South Africa's biggest and it flies from the highest flagpole in the country.
The 1861 Lighthouse houses the official Tourist Information Centre, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism. Donkin Lighthouse is open to the public on request between 08:30 & 16:00 on weekdays.
Summerstrand (84.5 km from Kabeljous)
Conveniently situated within Port Elizabeth, the Cape Recife Nature Reserve has much to offer visitors and locals alike.
A stunning beach, rolling dunes, coastal fynbos, marine birdlife, rock pools, and a 133-year old lighthouse beckon further exploration.
The reserve is renowned as a ‘must do’ birding site in Port Elizabeth to see marine and freshwater birds. The tern roost at Cape Recife is the best place in the country to see Roseate Tern. Seven species of tern are found here including Roseate tern, Antarctic tern and occasionally Damara tern.
Waterbirds that are often seen include Little Bittern, South African Shellduck, African Black Oystercatcher and Southern Tchagra. African penguin and ocean birds can also be spotted offshore.
Cape Recife Nature Reserve facilities include an Information Centre, ablution block, bird hides, picnic site and a nine-kilometre walking trail.
Kleinpoort (86.6 km from Kabeljous)
Koffylaagte Game Reserve is a pristine and historic private reserve conveniently situated 130 km from Port Elizabeth. The reserve is named for its colourful history as the resting place of the early settler traders who travelled between the vicinity and what is now known as Nelson Mandela Bay.
The original 1870s farmhouse enjoys spectacular views of the landscape, heightened by the lonesome old ox-wagon, a remnant of the early pioneering days.
Dedicated to wildlife management and breeding programmes, the land has been stripped of residues from its early farming days and converted back to its magnificent fauna and flora. Today Koffylaagte is a serene place where you can rest your mind, body and soul.
The reserve is home to abundant wildlife including buffalo, giraffe, zebra, some 22 species of South African antelope, warthog, bush pig, mongoose, fox, and porcupine, jackal, meerkat, baboon and vervet monkey.
The birdlife is prolific and it’s not uncommon to spot the majestic black eagle and other birds of prey. The spectacular Karoo flora resembles a natural succulent garden with aloes, euphorbia, spekboom, rare cycads and Elephant’s Foot.