See the last naturally occuring gemsbok in Limpopo at the Langjan Nature Reserve, which is also renowned for its striking red sand dunes resembling those found in Botswana's famous Kalahari desert. There is no overnight accommodation at Langjan, but it makes for a really rewarding day trip.

Did you know?

The rare Egyptian vulture can sometimes be spotted at the Langjan Nature Reserve.

The Langjan Nature Reserve, near the small town of Alldays, is characterised by striking red sand dunes and scrub acacia bush. It’s as if a spit of Kalahari sand has crept over the border from Botswana and for this reason the Langjan Nature Reserve is the last place where the gemsbok still occurs naturally in the Limpopo province.

The red colour of the dunes at Langjan Nature Reserve comes from the high iron oxide content in the sand. The dunes get their shape from the action of the wind and are stabilised by plants. Because of the sandy conditions here, the best way to tackle the reserve is in a 4x4 vehicle. Although you can walk around just about anywhere in the reserve, there are no marked hiking trails.

The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, the most significant being the gemsbok that live here in herds of between ten and 30 animals. They are big antelope with white faces, fawn-coloured bodies and long, spear like horns that can reach up to 85cm. They are well adapted to hot and arid conditions and can go for days without drinking water.

Langjan Nature Reserve is also a popular destination for birders. There are some 260-recorded species, including the pied barbet, the magpie shrike, the Marico flycatcher, the Kalahari scrub robin, the blue waxbill and the emerald spotted wood dove.

There is no overnight accommodation at the Langjan Nature Reserve, which adds to the wild and remote feeling. The reserve gets fewer visitors than other bigger reserves in the province, but makes for a fascinating and rewarding day outing.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Langjan Nature Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)15 516 3415/0040

Best time to visit

Spring, before the baking heat of summer, when the acacia scrub starts to blossom.

Get around

The best way to explore the secrets of Langjan Nature Reserve is in a 4x4 vehicle or on foot.

Length of stay

A day trip.

What to pack

Sunscreen, hat, sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots, camera, binoculars and plenty of water.

Where to stay

There is no overnight accommodation at Langjan Nature Reserve, so head for nearby Alldays which has some quaint B&B's and guesthouses.

What to eat

Take your own packed picnic or try one of the pubs in Alldays.