Luchaba Nature Reserve

Luchaba Nature Reserve lies adjacent to the Mthatha Dam and is home to a variety of wildlife

Eastern Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Luchaba Nature Reserve

Close to the town of Umtata, now known as Mthatha, lies the charming 460 hectare nature reserve of Luchaba.

Luchaba Nature Reserve lies adjacent to the Mthatha Dam and is home to a variety of wildlife, a series of wetlands and grasslands that support a wide selection of birds, and evidence of the rare Stanley’s bustard.

Luchaba seldom makes it to the essential list of ‘must see’ nature reserves possibly because the reserve is on state land and thus far unproclaimed (although efforts are underway to proclaim it as a formal nature reserve).

It is also managed together with the Nduli Nature Reserve that lies next to the N2 highway, at the southern entrance to Mthatha, on land owned by King Sabata Dalindyebo, contributing perhaps to its apparent obscurity.

However, this part of the world, is home to some of the most unspoiled countryside, and the reserve is without doubt worth a visit.

Dolerite dykes, rocky outcrops, shales and sandstone form the predominant landscape, whilst highland sour veld, also known as Dohne sour veld, was once home to oribi, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard.

Today this Umtata Moist Grassland biome supports a fair representation of blesbok, black and blue wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra, fallow deer and various antelope that include the red hartebeest.

The prospect of picnics overlooking the scenic Mthatha dam, easy access to game, and a ‘real African’ feel about the Luchaba Nature Reserve make it a more than viable option, particularly given its proximity to the Nelson Mandela Museum, visited by thousands of local and international tourists every year, in Mthatha.

Attractions near to Luchaba Nature Reserve

Bulungula Homestay Experience


In the heart of the exquisite rural area of the Transkei lies Bulungula, where children walk home from school barefoot and women fetch water from the river in groups, laughing and catching up on village news. The Bulungula Homestay initiative invites...

More info and photographs: Bulungula Homestay Experience

Coastal Hike to Hole In The Wall


A scenic hike from Coffee Shack along the magnificent coastline, passing Baby Hole and Hlungwane Waterfall. Hole In The Wall is a spectacular natural feature carved out of a huge mass of rock by milllions of years of pounding waves...

More info and photographs: Coastal Hike to Hole In The Wall

Did you know?

Luchaba is managed together with the Nduli Nature Reserve that lies next to the N2 highway.

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