Caledon Nature Reserve, Free State
Roughly 120 kilometres south east of Bloemfontein and 15 kilometres south of Wepener on Route 701, the Caledon Nature Reserve, through which the Caledon River flows, is also home to the Welbedacht Dam situated in the southern parts of the reserve. Despite sounding as if the reserve is off the beaten track, it gets star-studded reviews from locals and visitors for its beautiful setting, 4x4 routes, angling, hiking and general sense of peace and serenity that allow one a complete escape from it all in the 2300 hectare reserve.
Probably the biggest draw card to the Caledon Nature Reserve are the two floating bush camps that, whilst not luxury getaways - this is self-catering that includes a 4x4 trail in the per night price - does add a sense of adventure to a visit here, and is a hit with fishermen for whom a stay on these floating decks is all about how many barbel, mudfish, yellowfish and carp one can reel in.
The views at Caledon are described as enviable and one can also hope to spot black wildebeest, blesbok, springbok and zebra, whilst the fish eagle, unsurprisingly given the number of fish on offer here for both bird and man, renders its sharp and distinctive call frequently through the reserve. If you are lucky the call will herald a sighting of the majestic bird of prey.
Wepenar, the closest town to the Caledon Nature Reserve that lies virtually on the Lesotho border has quite a history, involved as it was in the 'Basotho wars' of the 19th century, and the fair number of sandstone buildings definitely warrant a drive through, if not a stopover.
Did you know?
The Caledon Nature Reserve gets star-studded reviews from locals and visitors for its beautiful setting.