Makalali Nature Reserve

Makalali reserve and conservation programmes

The Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve (GMPNR) was created in the early 1990s when local farmers agreed to take down their fences and create a conservancy where animals could roam freely. The area was restocked with game from the Kruger National Park, including elephants, hyenas, hippos, rhinos, cheetahs and lions. The conservancy currently hosts all the game species previously indigenous to the area, apart from roan antelope. Today, the GMPGR and neighbouring Pidwa Wilderness Reserve form the 25,000-hectare Greater Makalali Nature Reserve (GMNR).

Conservation projects

Your visit to the reserve will help support various programmes aimed at restoring and maintaining populations of endangered or vulnerable animals.

Wild Dog

The reserve has joined the Wild Dog Range Expansion Project, which aims to reintroduce African wild dogs to the area and to reverse the decline of wild dogs globally. Wild dogs are among the most threatened animals in Africa and are under severe pressure from snaring, poaching, disease, motor vehicles, and habitat loss.

The Scott family, owners of Clive’s Camp, are actively involved in supporting the wild dog initiative.


The GMNR is part of the Cheetah Metapopulation Project, coordinated by the Endangered Wildlife Trust.  The project works to increase cheetah numbers where they are under threat and to ensure genetic diversity in the cheetah population. 


A disease-free buffalo breeding project was started over ten years ago in a buffalo camp bordering the GMNR. In 2019, the fences of the buffalo camp were dropped and the buffalo were released into the open system. The release completed the ‘big 5’ (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, and elephant) in the reserve and marked the first time in more than half a century that all the big five have roamed freely in the area.


The rhino in the Kruger National Park and surrounding areas are under constant threat of poaching, and there is a dedicated team of anti-poaching rangers who patrol the GMNR.


The reserve is home to the endangered ground hornbill and many threatened vulture and raptor species.

These projects are supported by the income generated from responsible tourism. When you stay at one of the camps or lodges in the reserve, you are not just having a fabulous getaway – you are contributing to wildlife conservation and the livelihoods of local communities. Visit us soon and be part of the sustainable and regenerative tourism* movement.

*Sustainable tourism aims to limit the negative effects of travel and ensure that the current system survives into the future, while regenerative travel aims to actively restore the harm that has already been done. Sustainable and regenerative tourism are based on ethical business practices centred on social responsibility and the conservation of both wilderness and human habitats.

Contact Us

If you would like to find out more, or to make a booking enquiry, please use the details provided below, or fill in the contact form and we'll get right back to you!
Tessa 083 273 8619
Chelsea 083 334 3700