The Spitskop Nature Reserve in the Northern Cape offers hunting, hiking, bird watching and viewing of Kalahari game. These include the majestic oryx (or 'gemsbok' as it is called in South Africa), eland, mountain zebra and great herds of springbok.

Did you know?

Camels, which used to be bred here, still roam among the wild Kalahari game at Spitskop.

Whether you are a day visitor or overnighting at the chalets or in a caravan at the Spitskop Nature Reserve, you should make a point of climbing the Spitskop hill at dawn or dusk, where you're likely to see a beautiful Kahalari sunrise or sunset.

The cooler hours are also advised because day temperatures in summer in this desert reserve can hit the 40 or 45-degrees Celsius mark.

A 10-15 minute walk up the reserve’s conical granite icon gets you to a viewing platform where you can absorb the landscape and animals of this 5 641-hectare reserve and see as far as the town of Upington, 13km away. Apart from the typical Kalahari game species, and predators such as the jackal and caracal, the bird species include the kori bustard, ostrich and Namaqua sandgrouse.

This private reserve is a popular stop-off for visitors en route to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, some 240km from here. Caravan sites with electricity and self-catering chalets are available.

It also attracts hunters from around the world for the annual cull, with monies earned invested back into the reserve. The owner of the reserve, Theuns Botha, is a professional hunter who knows the reserve intimately, having been here for 20 years.

The reserve offers three hiking trails of 5km, 7km and 12km, or you can drive a 37km route in any kind of vehicle (4x4s are not necessary) through the reserve on a good gravel road.

For those who enjoy a braai or barbecue, there are lapas (thatched shelters) offering respite from the midday heat.

Spitskop Nature Reserve is situated close to the Orange River and visitors often head for the water during the blistering hours. Several boat operators offer outings, a favourite being 'Sakkie se Arkie', which is based in Upington.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Spitskop Nature Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)54 332 1336
Cell: +27 (0)82 445 8324

How to get here

Spitskop Nature Reserve is 13km north of Upington. Drive or fly to Upington.

Best time to visit

All year round, but bear in mind that summer temperatures can soar to 45-degrees Celsius.

Get around

Any type of car will easily get around the reserve, and there are good roads all the way here.

What will it cost

The self-catering chalets cost approximately R300 per person per night. Alternatively, stay in any number of guesthouses in Upington, and take a day trip to the reserve.

Where to stay

Spitskop Nature Reserve has 42 caravan sites with electricity and six self-catering chalets.

What to eat

Upington has several supermarkets where you can purchase all you need for your self-catering requirements.