Commando Drift Nature Reserve

The 6 000 hectare Commando Drift Nature Reserve lies roughly 60 km north of Cradock on the road to Tarkastad

Eastern Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Commando Drift Nature Reserve

The 6 000 hectare Commando Drift Nature Reserve lies roughly 60 km north of Cradock on the road to Tarkastad. At its heart is the Commando Drift Dam, fed by four rivers.

On what is essentially a mixture of Karoo veld and recovering grasslands, after years of overgrazing, you will find endangered mountain zebra, black wildebeest, and a series of antelope that include blesbok and red hartebeest, as well as a good 200 species of birds.

A series of dolerite and sandstone cliffs combine with the large dam, the birds and the small game to provide beautiful scenery. And the dam's size is just as well as during summer the heat in the reserve means that the banks of the dam serve to stave off mid-morning heat.

A couple of hikes in and around the reserve make it a popular destination for hikers. The Bushman Trail starts follows the shore of the dam and onto a jeep track up Palingkloof. It is an ideal hike for spotting water birds and waders along the edge of the dam.

The Endurance Trail is slightly more challenging, a circular two to three day trail over 28 km, yet not quite as formidable as its name might suggest. The first day of the hike heads onto the lower slopes of the Rooiberg, whilst the second day takes one through the Springbokvlakte where there is likely to be more game. Nights are spent in overnight huts.

The upside to visiting the Commando Drift reserve is that not many people know about it and you will have the views and the stillness to yourself. Holidays and long weekends see the campsite and picnic sites get a little busy, but the rest of the reserve promises space in which to lose yourself against the backdrop of the Rooiberg peak and rolling hills.

Popular Activities in and near Commando Drift Nature Reserve

Commando Drift MTB Route


This mountain bike trail in the Commando Drift Nature Reserve is easy if hilly at points, but not overly challenging. The route can either be circular or you can take a number of alternative routes back to the start point. The trail should take...

More info and contact details: Commando Drift MTB Route

Bushman Trail


The Commando Drift Nature Reserve rest camp in Tarkastad, Eastern Cape is a nice place to go for a walk and bird watching and game viewing. The Bushman Trail is an easy 6 kilometre walk that will take you approximately 2 hours to complete...

More info and contact details: Bushman Trail

Did you know?

The upside to visiting the Commando Drift reserve is that not many people know about it and you will have the views and the stillness to yourself.

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