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Situated on the southern tip of the Kruger National Park, the small 7200ha Mthethomusha Game Reserve is home to a great variety of game, including the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) along with cheetah shipped in from a nearby rehabilitation centre. The diversity is not confined to animals alone, over 300 bird species frequent the reserve.
Mthethomusha lies within the Mpumalanga Province, rich in natural wonders and a region renowned for its fauna and flora.
The area was once farmland and, following an agreement between local tribesmen and nature authorities, was left to return to its original wild state. Animals either migrated into the reserve or were brought in and the endemic fauna and flora quickly flourished.
The appealing aspect to the Mthethomusha Game Reserve is that visitors are likely to encounter game easily and without too much travel. The terrain is hilly with the rugged but beautiful Malelane Mountains in the distance.
Top 5 reasons to visit Mthethomusha Game Reserve
1. Take a game drive during the day or at night to experience a true wildlife safari through the park in an open vehicle and conducted by a qualified guide. Aside from the Big 5, other game such as giraffe, zebra, warthog and various antelope types roam the park in numbers.
2. Attend an inspirational tribal dance session offered at the onsite luxury lodge. Witness joyful movement to the rhythm of the African drum.
3. Join a guided group to see the wealth of San rock art sites, some dating back 1500 years, which are scattered throughout the reserve. The San were the first people to inhabit the area.
4. On the road outside Kaapmuiden is the artwork of eccentric artist Nukain Mabuza. He called his paintings made on rocks and on his home (now in ruins) the Garden of Flowers and although much of the art has faded and is hidden amongst tall grass, the area is definitely worth a visit. Mabuza died in 1981.
5. Travel into Swaziland via the Mananga border post to experience an authentic Swazi village and meet the friendly locals. Try the traditional beer, homebrewed and called Tjwala. Note that the border post is open between 7h00 and 18h00 daily and a small road tax is payable upon entering the country. Certain passport holders require a visa, check with the relevant authorities before visiting.
The nearest airport is Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit, 54km from Mthethomusha, where all flights arrive via Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. With permission, charters can fly directly to the privately-owned TSB Malelane Airport nearby, ask your host to arrange. TSB Malelane airport has 2 car rental agencies onsite and Nelspruit has several car hire companies, otherwise order a vehicle online. Arriving in your own vehicle is the most practical option for a visit to Mthethomusha.
Did you know?
Malaria is not a major threat in Mthethomusha, however, it’s best to take the necessary precautions before visiting.
The rare African wild dog roams Mthethomusha Game Reserve. These animals have a highly structured social system with a dominant pair leading the troop, and they hunt in packs, making them highly successful predators. Unlike the domestic dog that has 5 toes, the African wild dog has 4.
The letter H in Mthethomusha is silent and the word is pronounced m-tet-oh-moosha.