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Its name means 'place of water' and some important Limpopo rivers have their source in these scenic mountains. There is water all year round here, with many rivers, streams, waterfalls and rock pools.
Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve has thick indigenous forests, grassy mountain slopes and towering peaks and krantzes. In the forests you'll see Outeniqua trees, lemonwoods, yellowwoods, Cape beech and wild peach. The mountain slopes have flaming acacia trees with white blossoms in spring and red pods in summer.
In late summer, this Limpopo nature reserve attracts swarms of colourful butterflies, and many lepidopterists too. Birders come here to spot forest-dwelling species such as the Cape parrot, chorister robin, green twinspot, black-fronted bush shrike, Barrat's warbler and the famously furtive Narina trogon. The nature reserve is also home to assorted antelope, baboons and vervet and samango monkeys.
You can either explore the reserve on foot – there are several hiking trails here – or head out in a 4x4. There is a great look-out point at the Downs, and a lovely picnic spot in a shaded grove of trees, known as the Cathedral.
Accommodation at Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve is simple and rustic. There are wooden bungalows set on stilts alongside a stream in a cool forest. If you have a bigger group you can stay in a charming old farmhouse.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Limpopo Tourism Authority
Tel: +27 (0)15 293 3600
How to get here
From Tzaneen, take the R36 to Lydenberg. Some 60kms from the town turn right onto the road signposted Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve. After 4kms turn right again onto the dirt road signposted Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve. The entrance is at the end of this road.
Things to do
Nearby is the Wolkberg Wilderness Mountain Reserve, also excellent for birding and hiking.
You will need a 4x4 to drive around this mountain nature reserve. You can, however, also explore the reserve on foot.
Visit Timbavati and the largest palm nursery in the country in nearby Trichardtsdal.
What to pack
Binoculars, birding guides, comfortable walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and a hat.
Where to stay
Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve has accommodation in either a self-catering farmhouse or in self-catering wooden chalets alongside a river.
What to eat
The reserve is strictly self-catering, so bring along your own food and drink supplies.