ID #4608

Thabela Thabeng Nature Reserve, Parys, Vaal River, Northern Free State.

Private nature reserve on the banks of the Vaal River in the towering hills of the Vredefort Dome. Part of the Vredefort Dome Conservancy. Rich in plant, bird, wildlife and history. 35 indigenous tree species, including buffalo thorn, white stinkwood and wild olive. The best examples, which have been growing for centuries, are labelled. Spot brown hyena (hyaena) and Smith’s red rock rabbit as well as monkeys, chacma baboon, porcupine, rhebuck, etc.  Known for its beautiful butterflies. Abundance of birds near the river. A pair of black eagles nest in the mountain. See a hamerkop’s nest that has been inhabited for 20 years. Mine shafts were built soon after the discovery of gold in 1887.  Some of the old shafts can be seen along the trail. Accommodation includes:

•    Youth Hostel: Accommodates 45 in “The Old Barn”. Beautifully restored sandstone building. Divided into 2x bed private sections. Includes a kitchen, games room and lapa for up to 60 persons.
•    Plumbago Mountain Chalet: Romantic private chalet for two, with a balcony above the waterfall.
•    Chacma Mountain Lodge: two double rooms, lounge, fully equipped kitchen and balcony with a magnificent view for four persons.
•    Thabela Tabeng Lodge: Five double en-suite rooms with lounge, lapa and kitchen accommodates ten.

Trails include Mini Health Trail: Shady leisurely 4-km circular trail leading through dense riverine vegetation along the Vaal River. Maxi Diggers Trail: Leads upward to the summit of the highest mountain from which, on a clear day, one can spot four distant towns.  It can be completed in 6 hours. There are three detours off this trail, as follows:

•    Dassie Cliff Detour: Offers an every changing panorama of the Vaal River
•    Baboon’s Cliff Detour is the most challenging. Devil’s Chimney is for experienced climbers only.
•    Red Dongha Forest: Magnificent trees have clung to the walls of the dongha for centuries, making this detour a must for botanists.

Activities include hiking, canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, conferences, team building, fly-fishing, mountain biking (cycling) and family outings.

On the northern bank of the Vaal River near Parys, which is on the R53 southeast of Potchefstroom, which is on the N12 southwest of Johannesburg. AWThabela

Contct:            Box 1923 Parys 9585
            +27 (56) 818 1116 telephone and fax
            +27 (82) 570 6252 cell

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Last update: 2009-07-13 03:46
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.0

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