Great Fish Nature Reserve

The Fish River which flows through this nature reserve was the traditional boundary between the Xhosa people and European settlers. There are several heritage sites – forts, signaling towers, graves and old barracks. The Great Fish Nature Reserve is an amalgamation of three different reserves, but all comprise sub-tropical thicket and steep river valleys and ridges. Black rhino, buffalo and hippo are found here. Size: 45 000 hectares. Situated north west of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape.

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Blog posts

In the company of black rhino

There seem to be several rules to tracking black rhino in the dense thicket of Great Fish Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape.

Firstly, make sure there is a big enough tree to climb in case you’re charged, which black rhino are inclined to do.

Secondly, make sure that you are with someone who knows what they’re doing. Without an expert to guide you, the dense vegetation is going to make your life hell. You can’t see more than a few metres in front of you, literally - which means, of course, that a rhino could be standing on the other side of the bush, waiting to smash you to smithereens. You need someone with you who understands the animals and the vegetation and who has a sixth sense about the area.

Thirdly, although black rhinos don’t have very good sight, they have excellent Read more »

Great Fish River – Unknown and unexplored

Before my current visit, I had never been to the Great Fish Nature Reserve in the middle of the Eastern Cape. I really had no idea what to expect, and none of my colleagues or friends had been there. Exactly because of this, I was intrigued by the prospect of going somewhere "new" and "unknown."

I had done some research, and the Eastern Cape Parks website stated: “The reserve offers a wonderful wildlife experience…” and “Its open succulent valley bushveld and rugged terrain provides diverse habitats and panoramic views, boasts an abundance of game including Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Hippo and Kudu.”

Well, after a few days driving and walking with rangers across the reserve, I would be Read more »

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