Verloren Vallei Nature Reserve
Those interested in more peaceful pursuits should not miss the Verloren Vallei Nature Reserve. It is one of the few locations in South Africa where breeding populations of all three of the world's endangered cranes are found.
The Blue Crane, which is South Africa's national bird, can be spotted along with the Wattled Crane and Crowned Crane at the Reserve. The Wattled Crane and Blue Crane are critically endangered and the Crowned Crane being endangered. Guided tours only are strictly by appointment.
Verloren Vallei is a proclaimed Nature Reserve, about 13 km from Dullstroom. The reserve is in an undisturbed area of the Steenkampsberg Plateau, with wide open rolling grasslands and wetlands.
The Reserve has typical Highlands grassland with a network of more than 30 wetlands with a particular high and national important component of endemic and Red data species. The inter-linked wetlands play a an important hydrological role because they are a source of important river systems for both the Crocodile and Olifants
The Reserve having been declared an international RAMSAR wetlands site, signifies a wetland area of International importance.
The open grassland is home to a variety birds, such as bald ibis, cisticolas, longclaws, pipits, larks, finches, long tailed shrikes and red bishops.
The rocky outcrops are home to birds such as the ground woodpecker, mountain chat, buff streaked chat and the cape rock thrush, the scarce grey winged and red winged francolin.
The wetland area provides a refuge for the three crane species. The Blue and Crowned Cranes spend winter in flocks, then break up into pairs to breed and each pair establishes their own territory. Wattled Cranes remain together in pairs on their territories and will usually occupy a chosen site for life, all year round.
An isolated "rear and release" facility has been established for Wattled Cranes at Verloren Vallei. Humans dressed in costumes resembling the Wattled Crane act as "crane mothers" in the rearing of the chicks
Guided Tours by Appointment:
Tel: 013 254 0799
Tariffs on request
MINISTER MOOSA AWARDED VERLOREN VALLEI NATURE RESERVE
Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister, Mr Vally Moosa, awarded a RAMSAR certificate to Verloren Vallei Nature Reserve, at a ceremony which coincided with the World Wetlands Day on February, 01, 2003. Verloren Vallei was declared a RAMSAR site (no. 17) by the International Convention on Wetlands in Switzerland.
The Ramsar Convention, signed at Ramsar in Iran in 1971, promotes the conservation and wise use of wetlands through national and international co-operation