Free State Game and Nature ReservesThe Willem Pretorius Game Reserve
The Willem Pretorius Game Reserve is situated in the heart of the Free State with the Allemanskraal Dam forming the central part. The reserve itself covers some 12 005ha with a great variety of game and bird species.
The great variety of wildlife and bird species is not the only draw card for tourists.
On the northern side of the dam there is a range of hillocks, surprisingly leafy for the Free State. On the summit of one of these hillocks, Doringberg, one can find a well-preserved ruin of a prehistoric settlement, apparently of the long-vanished Leghoya people.
The Leghoya people built extremely small huts, cattle kraals and walls from stone, but without mortar. The size of the huts was probably dictated by the difficulty of roofing with slabs of stone. On Doringberg there are many of these ruined buildings, each pervaded by ghostly reminders of their former owners. One of these settlements has been restored and proclaimed a national monument.
The southern part of the Willem Pretorius Game Reserve consists of undulating plains of grassland, contrasting with the rocky ridges and ravines in the northern section. Among the many game species are the world’s largest herd of black wildebeest, as well as springbok, blesbok, gemsbok, kudu, red hartebeest, eland, zebra, white rhino and giraffe.
Notable among the trees in the reserve are white stinkwood, sweet thorn (Acacia Karoo), karee, taaibos, buffalo thorn, wild peach, highveld cabbage tree, ghwarrie and wild olive. An extensive network of roads ensures excellent game viewing at the Willem Pretorius Game Reserve.
Other activities include fishing, boat tours, a swimming pool, sporting facilities a restaurant and picnic sites.
A special feature of the Willem Pretorius reserve is the environmental education centre, controlled by the Directorate of Environmental and Nature Conservation.