Game at Steynshoop Mountain Lodge and Game Farm

Before being settled by white farmers in the mid-19th century, the Magaliesberg Valley was a game paradise, comparable to the Serengeti today. A pre-Voortrekker visitor, the hunter/naturalist Cornwallis-Harris, entering the valley over the Wiwatersberg range to the south, wrote “we crested the range and there below us was a magnificent sight – a well-watered valley teeming with game; 300 elephants at least visible below us…”

The nature reserve in which Steynshoop Mountain Lodge and Game Farm is situated is a pure remnant of the valley as described by him, with the original bush as it was then. Most of the rest of the valley was cleared of bush and game, and converted to agriculture. The Seynshoop Mountain Lodge and Game Farm property, entirely covered with natural bush, is a refuge for game – a sheltered hideaway for it.

The photos below, taken recently, show some of the game species which are regular visitors to the waterhole and salt-lick at the lodge, close to the main lodge building and visible from it. We are particularly proud of our Nyala family, currently consisting of an adult male, two adult females and two (male and female) juveniles.

In addition, there are several bushbuck, zebra, impala, blesbuck, steenbuck, duiker, mountain reedbuck and occasional visiting kudu. A warthog, named “Pumba” by the staff of the lodge, is now semi-tame, and grazes close to the lodge building, even on the croquet lawn, occasionally accompanied by members of his family! A large colony of baboons frequently visits and of course there are numerous vervet monkeys.

In the cliffs directly above the lodge is a nesting pair of black eagles, which have raised several chicks there. They can be viewed by telescope, from the gazebo, and watching them swoop and fly along the cliff face is a delight. Cape vultures from their nearby large cliff-face colony are frequent flying visitors, often in a group. When hiking along the top of the cliff they sometimes dip so low and so close that you can hear the wind in their wing feathers.

Leopards are present on both the property and neighbouring farms, though they are seldom seen, being largely nocturnal and stealthy. The previous name of the Mountain Lodge property was “Ingwelala” (“where the leopards sleep”).

We are doing all that we can to encourage and foster these natural treasures on our property and it is remarkable how they have become more and more confident and less “shy” of visiting the waterhole and salt-lick, over the last two or three years. Come to the Mountain Lodge and Game Farm, experience its “Out of Africa” feeling and enjoy their company, with us.