Overview – Spioenkop GR
Spioenkop is a small, but very scenic, game reserve at the base of the Drakensberg Mountains. Central to the reserve is a large dam open to the public for fishing and water sports. There is a small wildlife-viewing circuit for self-drive visitors. Other activities include horseback safaris and a self-guided walking trail. Only white rhino, giraffe and zebra are present of the high profile safari animals. The park is nice to visit on a half-day trip while en route to somewhere else, but not as a sole safari destination.
Pros & Cons
- Beautiful scenery with mountain and lake views
- Great birding
- Little visited park and only busy during weekends
- Horse riding available
- Inexpensive rest camp in the park
- Not many big safari animals present
- Very small game-drive circuit
- Busy with locals visiting for lake activities on the weekend
The small size of Spioenkop isn’t able to sustain populations of some of the bigger animals and predators. The exception is white rhino, which roam around the reserve. Since part of the park is not accessible by car, seeing them is not guaranteed. Other species regularly encountered are giraffe, kudu, eland, blue wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck and blesbok.
Spioenkop has a real bush feel, with acacia thorns studding the grassy plains. The Drakensberg Mountains form a dramatic backdrop, and the big lake a scenic center point. In winter, the slopes are covered with massive flowering aloes.
Weather & Climate
The weather and climate of Spioenkop is comparable to that of South Africa in general. More info:
Best Time to Visit
Spioenkop can be visited throughout the year, but the best time for wildlife viewing is during the dry months of June to September. The end of the Dry season (from August to September) is a particularly nice time since all water in the bush is exhausted, and the animals congregate on the lakeshore. For lake activities, the summer months (October to April) are better.
Spioenkop lies at the base of the Drakensberg Mountains between Johannesburg (350km/217mi) and Durban (250km/155mi). It can easily be incorporated in a self-drive itinerary including that part of the country.
Health & Safety
Please read our vaccinations and malaria page for South Africa, and our general wildlife viewing safety precautions page for more info:
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Spioenkop GR Safari Reviews
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- User Rating
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Melissa is an award winning travel writer for Fodors, Frommers and Insight, including guides to Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Spioenkop – battlefield tour with added animals
You don’t go to Spioenkop for the animals. It does have some but this 4,400 ha/10,900 acre reserve in the western section of Kwazulu-Natal is really a daytrippers’ special in wildlife terms. The northern half of the reserve is sectioned...
Latest User Review
We had only a short visit but the landscape with the big lake in the middle is really nice. Also the animals are very easy to see. It is a park for only self-guiding with camping accomodations.