There is plenty to do at Babanango Game Reserve, from guided safaris in our 4x4s to escaping the heat of the day in our sparkling pool. But if you’re looking for a little more adventure – or an Instagrammable moment – take a look at some of the other activities on offer
With more than 30 kilometres of trails criss-crossing grassland, forest and following sections of the White Umfolozi River, Babanango Game Reserve is a hiker’s dream. Our trails are suitable for short strolls as well as all-day traverses of our beautiful habitats.
Mountain bikers are welcome at Babanango Game Reserve. Our trails are graded to suit beginners through to hardcore enthusiasts, and include flat sections from which you can take in the view, to technical (and steep) ascents and descents.
Morning and evening nature drives are conducted daily, with possibility of seeing buffalo, impala, zebra, giraffe and kudu, not to mention a variety of birdlife.
Birding and butterflying
Babanango Game Reserve’s varied habitats are home to more than 285 species of birds and 32 species of butterflies, so bring your binoculars and life lists! Notable bird species include nine breeding pairs of Blue Crane, Black Eagles, the Lappet Faced and White Backed Vultures, Crowned Eagles and the Narina Trogon. Special butterflies include Dark-webbed Ringlet (Physcaeneura panda), Millar’s Haritail (Anthene millari) and Mocker Bronze (Cacyreus virilis).
There is little else more romantic than dining by candlelight under the stars, surrounded by the African bush. Speak to one of our staff to enquire about our private bush dinners, as you enjoy an experience both gastronomic and magical as night birds, crickets and other nocturnal animals serenade you with their evening song.
A guided bush walk will expose you to the microfauna and flora that call our reserve home – from grassland flowers and butterflies, to interesting lizards, beetles and ground birds. Your guide will point out any interesting spoor or other signs left by the reserve’s wild inhabitants, giving you a true wilderness experience with the added option of visiting our unique copper mine.
Experience the beauty of the African bush on a one-hour, half day or full day outride on horseback. Babanango’s horse trails explore some of the deepest recesses of the reserve, and our Boerperd horses are renowned for their strength and gentle nature. Being on horseback allows you to get close to wild animals, as they don’t see you as a threat – this makes for truly extraordinary game viewing! Horse riding is offered from Matane Lodge, and guests are required to self-drive to Matatane for this activity.
A ride like no other, Babanango offers you a 20-minute flip with our professionally trained security team. These flights are key to the reserve’s conservation efforts, and you will assist in observing the fence line for any damage that the animals could have caused. Though the scenery is gorgeous, this is not primarily a scenic flight, and so the flight pattern may be erratic should the pilot spot something of interest. Helicopter flips are offered from Valley Lodge; internal transfers may be arranged from other lodges, and charges may apply. Please enquire on arrival.