“The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth.”
– Marlee Matlin
African Game Lodge is a private reserve of some 4300ha situated in the Langeberg Mountains in the Little Karoo, just outside Montagu. We are situated at an altitude of 800m above sea level, between the Slagkloof, Gatskraal and Gannaleegte Mountain Range.
Our reserve is typical of the Little Karoo, somewhat arid-looking at first glance but home to a vast number of species who thrive in this very sensitive region. The whole reserve is situated in a critical bio-diversity area (CBA) recognised for its importance as a remaining natural corridor, and thus needs to be carefully managed to limit the impact of eco-tourism.
The low-rainfall, sensitive vegetation and seasonal grasses cannot sustain large herds of grazers and so careful management is needed to preserve the veld. Our reserve is game-fenced and stocked with Eland, Oryx, Kudu, Springbok, Wildebeest, Cape Rhebok and endemic species such as klip springer, duiker. We are shortly hoping to introduce Giraffe, Cape Mountain Zebra and Red Hartebeest.
The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest, yet richest plant kingdom on earth. It has earned international recognition as a global biodiversity hotspot. It is also South Africa’s newest World Heritage Site.
The Southern Karoo is unique and an exceptionally diverse part of the succulent karoo biome, encompassing diverging landscapes, flora, fauna, climate, soils and geology. It is important for its vast untamed wilderness and the fact that the different conservation areas form natural corridors which link several biomes such as fynbos, succulent and renosterveld.
Only 9% of the unique renosterveld and lowland ecosystems remain. Much of the succulent karoo is also under threat.
African Game Lodge lies within the fynbos biome which is exceptionally diverse and consists of:
- Restionaceae or Cape Reed family (shrubby grasses and sedges)
- Ericoid or heath component which makes up majority of species, including Ericaceae (heaths), Asteraceae (daisy family), Bruniaceae (black tip), Fabaceae (pea family), Rhamnaceae (jujube), and Thymelaeceae (thyme)
- Proteaceae are the dominant overstorey in fynbos, whilst some occurring in ecotones and some occurring in renosterveld, majority of the Protea species occur in fynbos.
- Renosterveld is characterised by the dominance of members of the daisy family and one species Renosterbos Elytropappus rhinocerotis
- Mesemb Species of numerous variety abound on African Game Lodge, and they are typical of the Succulent Karoo. July, August and September are good months to visit the reserve to see a spectacular show of colour as the “vetplante” burst into vibrant colours. Rocks and outcrops are splashed with bright orange lichens and fungi which flourish in the unpollluted air on the reserve.
The geology of the area is also very interesting. We are situated in the Cape Folding Mountains, and on our reserve you can see excellent examples of the enormous pressure which has created amazing rock and fault formations. Our reserve is rich in fossils which are exposed as the shale beds disintegrate.
The Wilderness area show evidence of the glacier which travelled through this part of the continent some 26 million years ago depositing granite from as far afield as Rustenberg.