Dronfield Nature Reserve, Northern Cape
Lying just off the N12, a mere 10km north of Kimberley, Dronfield Nature Reserve is on the De Beers Diamond Route.
The game farm is a favourite with families who stay in the reserve whilst taking in other Kimberley, and surrounds, highlights - like the Big Hole, Magersfontein, the Ghost Trail, William Humphreys Art Gallery, Diggers' Fountain and the Sol Plaatje Museum.
Initially bought by De Beers as a deposition site for the nearby De Beers mine, a portion of Dronfield was let for grazing. This changed after 2004 when the 12 000 hectares were proclaimed a nature reserve and stocked with herds of game translocated from Rooipoort Nature Reserve, close by.
The Kalahari sandveld of the reserve supports eland, gemsbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, zebra, giraffe, white rhino and kudu. Like its sister reserve Benfontein Nature Reserve, some 26km away, it is also a great birding spot with over 140 species of birds that include the African fish eagle and the lilac-breasted roller.
Dronfield has the added draw card of a vulture hide for visitors to see the white-backed vulture up close. There is a sizeable population of these birds in the reserve after having been studied here for years.
Twitchers can also head to the nearby Kamfers Dam – a perennial wetland with a huge population of lesser flamingos that translates into the biggest population of flamingos in southern Africa. The wetland boasts well over 200 bird species and is a National Heritage Site.
A series of self-catering chalets set in amongst camelthorn trees serve as good overnight accommodation in Dronfield Nature Reserve.
game and nature reserves in the northern cape