THE FAHAD STORY
As keen conservationists, farmers and world renowned horse and camel breeders, the Shareholders had a dream 14 years ago to create a pristine game farm and private reserve in the arid Limpopo River Valley. The location was perfectly selected at the confluence of the Mokolo and Limpopo Rivers, opposite the Botswana Tuli Block. It is through their and the local team’s enthusiastic commitment that we are able to bring you Fahad Game Reserve as it stands today. The reserve – initially for private use only – was made accessible to the public and nature lovers in the mid 2000’s in order to create opportunities for more people to share our conservation success story. Our guests are treated in a number of private luxury family lodges, with self-catering and full board options.
Considerable effort and funds were directed over the years across 12 properties – of which most were previously heavily overgrazed cattle farms – to develop and implement environmental conservation and game and veld management. Breeding of Sable Antelope and Buffalo were also introduced on the farm.
Real social up-liftment programmes were introduced some years ago that today are successful businesses offering training and employment as artisans to a host of previously unemployed women.
WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE
Fahad Game Reserve – covering just over 6`700 hectares – is one of the largest privately owned game reserve on the Limpopo River. No other privately owned reserve offers the flexibility of three luxury family lodges and the natural beauty of the Limpopo River valley with its gigantic Leadwood, Anna, Acacia, Jackalberry and Rain trees [Appelblaar], as well as the indigenous Lala Palm on the banks of the river. We are in a Malaria Free environment which makes it absolutely safe to visit us with small children.
Apart from more than 20 species of normal plains game, around 400 bird species, and Buffalo and Sable, we offer the following special wildlife species [visit Wildlife for more information]:
- 2 endangered mammal species
- 16 specially protected or endangered bird species
- 19 protected mammal species
- 3 protected reptile species
- 15 different predators or carnivores
- More than 10 small mammal species
Our two smaller lodges only accommodates a maximum of 10 to 14 people each and lodges are privately allocated once booked. This ensures a unique and private breakaway with only friends, family or colleagues.
Fahad Game Reserve is part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. The Waterberg is the first region in the north of South Africa identified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the incredible rock formations in evidence were shaped over hundreds of millions of years by riverine erosion. This recognition goes some way to impart the beauty of this lesser known part of the country – its incredible scenery, often accentuated by late afternoon thunder storms, plummeting mountain gorges, vast Limpopo River Valley, clear streams, and rolling bushveld.
The Bushveld of South Africa lies north of the Waterberge [directly translated as Water Mountains due to the abundant natural fountains that occur there]. This blue-hued Waterberg imposingly stretches its full length from Thabazimbi in the south west, to the Lapalala River in the north east of the Limpopo Province, supporting a biome of over 15 000 square kilometers. The Limpopo River valley forms the full northern border of the Waterberg Biosphere and Fahad Game Reserve is located in the northern center of this area.
A large portion of the Waterberg’s bushveld country has been given over to the conservation of plains game, elephants, white rhino, leopard and buffalo. Land owners have restored land overgrazed by cattle, to attract and protect antelope, giraffe, hippo and other species, with an accompanying rise in the trend of eco-tourism, and the marketing of the Waterberg and Limpopo River Valley as prime game country –well worth a visit.
This area has an extensive history with evidence of the first human ancestors as early as three million years ago. Closer to our history, the San, who produced beautiful rock paintings at Lapalala, entered the Waterberg about two thousand years ago. The Waterberg is steeped in a history and some artefacts found here date back to Stone Age times. The area is a mosaic of culture and tradition as is reflected by the different rural tribes such as the Bapedi, Tswana and Basotho, while the Voortrekkers also left their distinctive mark on the area.
The water-rich valleys of the Mokolo and Limpopo Rivers on the Botswana border provide sweet bushveld grazing. The highest concentration of hippopotamus in the Limpopo River is found between the Mokolo and the Mogalakwena Rivers. The Limpopo River rises in central southern Africa, and flows generally eastwards to the Indian Ocean. The term Limpopo is the modified version of the original Sepedi name diphororo tša meetse, meaning ″gushing strong waterfalls.″ The river is approximately 1,750 kilometres (1,087 mi) long. The Limpopo is the second largest river in Africa that drains to the Indian Ocean, after the Zambezi River.
Otherwise, the bushveld landscape, interspersed with sandstone buttresses and Leadwood, Acacia, Baobab, Marula and fever trees, supports a number of towns that make up one of the country’s fastest-growing industrial and agricultural districts. The Waterberg is one of the most mineralised regions in the world and numerous towns form part of the Bushveld Igneous Complex – 50,000km² treasure trove yielding massive amounts of minerals such as coal, vanadium, platinum, nickel and chromium. The Waterberg District offers the tourist a bit of both worlds – an infrastructure of excellent facilities and modern conveniences found in the many game reserves and conservation areas, coupled with the opportunity to experience the African wilderness in its pristine state.
SEASONS AND WEATHER
Climate conditions vary considerably in southern Africa, as the subcontinent lies at the transition of major climate zones. The climate in the Limpopo River Basin is influenced by air masses of different origins: the equatorial convergence zone, the subtropical eastern continental moist maritime, and the dry continental tropical and marine west Mediterranean. Climate is predominantly semi-arid, dry and hot. The Limpopo River Basin is a region of summer rainfall, generally with low precipitation. The majority of the catchment receives less than 500 mm of rainfall per year and the hot dry areas are located mostly within the main Limpopo River Valley itself.
Rainfall is highly seasonal with 95 percent occurring between October and April. Rainfall varies significantly between years and the Limpopo River Basin generally experiences short rainfall seasons. Summers in the Limpopo River Basin are generally warm, and winters are mild. In summer, daily temperatures may exceed 40 °C, while in winter temperatures may fall to below 0 °C. The general figures for air temperature are related closely to altitude, and also to proximity to the ocean. The mean maximum daily temperature in most of the Limpopo River Basin, varies from about 30-34 °C in the summer to 22-26 °C in winter. The mean minimum daily temperature in most areas lies between 18-22 °C in summer and 5-10 °C in winter.