Great Fish River Nature Reserve, Eastern Cape
Did you know?
The Great Fish River mouth is flanked by a 9m-high lighthouse that was built in 1898.
The Great Fish River Nature Reserve, just outside Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, boasts plenty of big game such as buffalo, elephant, hippo and rhino.
Its semi-arid bushveld vegetation also sustains large populations of plains game, including various species of antelope indigenous to South Africa.
The park actually comprises 3 individual South African nature reserves: the Sam Knott Nature Reserve, the Andries Vosloo Kudu Reserve and the Double Drift Nature Reserve, all connected by a circular route. As such it covers a massive 45 000ha, offering prime game-viewing opportunities in a malaria-free environment.
There are a multitude of ways to enjoy this rugged wilderness experience, including walking and hiking trails, day and night game drives, riverside picnics, birdwatching excursions (there's also a waterside bird hide) and visits to the Adam Krantz viewpoint, which offer spectacular views across the reserve.
The Inyathi Game Camp, located in the Double Drift Nature Reserve, offers the chance to see a number of of antelope species, blue wildebeest, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe and white rhino. This part of the reserve also boasts San (also known as 'Bushman') rock art, dating back thousands of years.
Further east, between the Great Fish and Keiskamma rivers, guided game-viewing trails are available.
While in the Great Fish River Nature Reserve keep a look out for black-backed jackals and caracals – rare treats for visitors. You should have no problem spotting the reserve's number 1 inhabitant – the kudu – whose numbers top 2 000.
This area played a major role in the frontier wars that raged here between the British settlers and the Xhosa, from 1779 to 1878. Many of the historical sites remain and can be easily viewed by visitors, including old fortified homesteads, forts, signalling towers, graves and old army barracks.
Nature has healed the old wounds, and the peace is tangible.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Eastern Cape Parks
Tel: +27 (0)43 705 4400