Thomas Baines Nature Reserve

/ Thomas Baines Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Eastern Cape Game Reserves

Thomas Baines Nature Reserve, Eastern Cape

Thomas Baines Nature Reserve
Thomas Baines Nature Reserve

Thomas Baines Nature Reserve lies just 12 kilometres outside of Grahamstown, en route to Port Elizabeth on the N2. It is named after the British artist and explorer of South Africa who painted a wealth of detailed paintings and sketches about colonial life in South Africa and Australia, some of which you can see at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town.

He was based in the Eastern Cape between 1848 and 1853.

The Thomas Baines reserve has been part of the landscape of Grahamstown residents since 1961 when it was first created, and it offers game drives, canoeing, camping on the banks of Settlers Dam in non-powered campsites, bird watching, bass fishing, sailing and hiking.

Animals include the African buffalo, Chacma baboon, common eland and greater kudu. You used to be able to see one, rather tired rhino called Tom - the last of his kind as a reserve like Thomas Baines is wary of keeping rhinos because of the huge security risk. When Tom died recently of old age he was not replaced.

Chacma Baboon at Thomas Baines Reserve
Chacma Baboon at Thomas Baines Reserve
In 1990 the 1024 hectare reserve added the Thomas Baines Goldfields Environmental Education Centre to the reserve, fully equiped for school and youth club outings.

There are over 175 species of birds recorded in the reserve, including a number of different kingfishers, making it a favourite amongst birders. Picnicking on the side of the dam and the 15 kilometres of dirt tracks that pass through the reserve's fynbos and bushveld make it a firm favourite amongst visitors.

A recent game auction held at the reserve raised both the reserve's profile and R6.4 million for conservation. The animals came from a number of reserves and wilderness areas in the province and included buffalo, red hartebeest, black wildebeest, giraffe and three white rhino.

Thomas Baines Nature Reserve

Accommodation nearby

For accommodation see Grahamstown accommodation or Grahamstown Hotels. To see all accommodation in the region see Frontier Country accommodation or Frontier Country Hotels.

View Game Reserves in this Region

Did you know?
For further information concerning bookings of school groups for Environmental Education courses, as well as details relating to the Friends of Thomas Baines Nature Reserve, contact the Eastern Cape Nature Conservation Office on Telephone: +27 (0)46 622-7216.

With 20 National Parks, including two of the world's most famous wildlife reserves, the Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and numerous private game reserves, your trip to South Africa would be incomplete without experiencing a South African Safari.
Thomas Baines Nature Reserve, Eastern Cape
Eastern CapeEastern Cape